Drug warriors' staunch opposition to needle exchanges to prevent the spread of HIV in addicts delayed the programs' widespread introduction in most states for years. A federal ban on funding for these programs wasn't lifted until 2009. Contrast this with what happened in the U.K. At the peak of the AIDS epidemic in the mid-1990s, the HIV infection rate in IV drug users in the U.K. was about 1%. In New York City, the American epicenter, that figure was 50%. The British had introduced widespread needle exchange in 1986. That country had no heterosexual AIDS epidemic.
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