Amid concerns over HIV, Georgia legalizes needle exchanges


Injecting drug users in Georgia will be able to legally exchange used syringes for sterile, according to a law the governor signed into law.

The law that legalizes programs that provide clean needles aims to prevent the spread of HIV and other infectious diseases.

A national HIV / AIDS research organization, amfAR, says such programs are currently legal in 28 states and Washington, DC.

Proponents applauded Republican Goenor. Brian Kemp's decision to sign the bill on Tuesday, saying it was "a victory for public health" amid a national HIV crisis.

Critics say the programs allow drug users.

At least one needle exchange program in Atlanta already operates publicly without users or operators fearing arrest because the program has already established a relationship with local police.

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