AIDS activists protested in Capitol

Last July AIDS activists protested in the Capitol after the Obama Administration did not respect its commitments on lifting the ban on needle exchanges, increasing funding to the AIDS Global Fund and providing support for housing support (HOPWA). After the protest 26 people were arrested for unlawful gathering, disorderly conduct and disturbing the peace.

Criticisms arose because White House officials refused to endorse needle exchange programs even though it was part of Obama’s electoral campaign. Despite there been abundant evidence that needle exchanges work in order to reduce infections like HIV or Hepatitis C without increasing the use of illicit drugs, the White House is backing off its commitments.

Dr. Keith Humphreys, a senior policy advisor at the White House Office on National Drug Control Policy, refused to say if his office would support the lifting of a ban for needle exchanges.