In a setback for HIV prevention, a NJ court held an Atlantic City needle exchange program illegal.
Opponents of needle-exchange programs welcomed the unanimous ruling, saying it could help their efforts to block a pilot program authorized last fall by then-Gov. James E. McGreevey. The three-judge appeals court ruled that anyone, including municipal officials, who distributed syringes to drug addicts 'would be subject to prosecution as an accomplice to the addict's illegal use of drugs.'"
And what of the "compelling state interest" in controlling the spread of HIV and hepatitis C?
The court added that it made no difference that the city had established the program in response to "a public health crisis" due to the spread of injection-related HIV and hepatitis C.