February 13, 2002
On Thursday, February 14, 2002, from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM at the
Department of Health, Kinau Hale first floor boardroom, Don Des
Jarlais, Ph.D. will present the 2001 Evaluation Report of the Hawaii
Statewide Syringe Exchange Program. Dr. Des Jarlais will be available
between 1:00 PM and 2:00 PM that day for media interviews at the
Department of Health’s Kinau Hale Boardroom, or can be reached
during that hour at 586-4580.
Dr. Des Jarlais is the Director of Research at the Chemical
Dependency Institute at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City and
is world renown for his work and expertise in the field of HIV
prevention and Syringe Exchange Programs. He serves as a consultant to
the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U. S. National
Institutes of Health, and the World Health Organization. He is
currently the Coordinator for the World Health Organization Multi-Site
Study Survey of HIV and Drug Use. This study is being implemented in 14
different sites worldwide.
Dr. Des Jarlais has found that nationally there is a resurgence of
HIV infection among men who have sex with men, and that new cases of
HIV related to drug injection are leading the epidemic. Globally, the
HIV crisis worsens, particularly in developing countries.
In this time of heightened concern about the direction of the
HIV/AIDS pandemic, Hawaii has demonstrated leadership in this area of
public health. The statewide Syringe Exchange Program provides a
national model for reducing injection related HIV transmission. The
Program has increased the number of syringes exchanged each year since
1996. All available data reflect very low levels of injection related
HIV infection in the state.
The Syringe Exchange Program has developed innovative methods of
reaching drug users, which have proven very effective. An increase in
the number of program participants reporting injection of
methamphetamine from 6% two years ago to 28% this year calls for
continued vigilance against the passing of blood-borne disease through
the sharing of injection equipment.
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