Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Ban on Needle Exchange Funding Stays

Last week it was revealed that President Obama will not be keeping his promise to lift the ban on needle exchange funding.

A White House spokes person assures that Obama is still committed to this change:
"We have not removed the ban in our budget proposal because we want to work with Congress and the American public to build support for this change," he said. "We are committed to doing this as part of a National HIV/AIDS strategy and are confident that we can build support for these scientifically-based programs."

The Huffington Post's Ryan Grim lets us know that the White House website no longer features the president's support of the program, however. See the before and after here.

Hmmm... I think LEAP's Tom Angell sums things up perfectly: "It's hard to imagine how removing mention of support for a proven lifesaving program from the White House website is part of a grand strategy to 'build support' for syringe exchange."

If Obama wants to build more support for lifting the ban he shouldn't be removing his own support from his website. He should have more information about needle exchange programs and their success at reducing the spread of HIV.