Hepatitis c

Groups such as the World Health Organization and the American Medical Association support the idea of needle exchanges as ways of reducing the spread of diseases like hepatitis among drug users.   Such programs distribute clean needles to drug addicts in exchange for dirty needles and encourage addicts to enter treatment programs.

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Public health officials warn that rural Appalachia might be just a few dirty needles away from an HIV catastrophe, as the region is gripped by an epidemic of injection drug abuse and hepatitis C.