Thursday, January 29, 2009

Letter to Ambassador Rice from Reps. Serrano, Waxman and Lee

Congress of the United States
Washington, DC 20515
January 28, 2009

The Honorable Susan E. Rice
United States Mission to the United Nations
140 E. 45th Street
New York, NY 10017

Dear Ambassador Rice:

We wish to congratulate you on your new post. We look forward to working closely with you to address the enormous challenges before us.

Among those challenges, as you well know, is the spread of HIV/AIDS. Within the United States and globally, intravenous drug use has been a significant factor in the spread of HIV and other infections, such as Hepatitis B, that are major threats to public health.

Within the Congress, we three have worked to try to allow federal funding to support domestic needle exchange programs, which have been shown to reduce rates of infection among drug users without increasing illegal drug use. In the United States and around the world, needle exchange is recognized as a practical and proven way to help minimize the terrible harms associated with illegal drug use.

We are pleased that President Obama supports lifting the ban on federal funding for needle exchange, and we look forward to working with the Administration to bolster this critical HIV prevention strategy.

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