The Epidemic of Drug-Related AIDS


Each year the injection-related AIDS epidemic in Alabama affects more people. In order to slow the spread of AIDS among persons who inject drugs in Alabama and elsewhere, the Clinton Administration urgently needs to end the federal ban on funding clean needle programs.

 Health Emergency in Alabama

 The crisis among African Americans

 The future: thousands of all races at risk in Alabama

In the Birmingham metropolitan area alone, Dr. Scott Holmberg of the Centers for Disease Control estimates there are 3,400 uninfected persons who inject drugs and who thus are at risk of getting HIV.

 Saving lives and saving tax dollars

Each AIDS illness and death exacts an uncountable cost in human pain and suffering. Each AIDS illness and death has a very countable cost in dollars. Using sophisticated mathematical models, a University of California team of investigators estimates that it costs between $4,000 and $12,000 in clean needle program expenses for each HIV infection averted over a five-year period. This is, of course, far lower than the estimated $119,000 lifetime cost of treating an HIV-infected person.

 Lifting the ban on federal funding of clean needle programs will permit communities in Alabama to save many lives that will otherwise be lost. Nationally, ending the ban will save billions of federal health care dollars.

Prepared by the Dogwood Center, PO Box 187, Princeton, NJ. Tel: 609-924-4797. Fax: 609-252-1464. email: [email protected] The information on population and on injection-related AIDS cases for persons age 13 and over is from special tabulations from the Census Bureau and the Centers for Disease Control. Injection-related AIDS cases include AIDS cases among the following risk groups: heterosexual persons who inject drugs; men who have sex with men and inject drugs; and the heterosexual sexual partners of persons who inject drugs.

Web presentation co-sponsored by the Dogwood Center, the Drug Reform Coordination Network, and Safe Works AIDS Project.

The Epidemic of Drug-Related AIDS

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