Australian Associated Press (08/01/99)
Joint research conducted by scientists from the University of
New South Wales and the U.S. National Development and Research
Institutes indicates that a zero tolerance policy for illicit
drug use in New York has exacerbated the spread of HIV in drug
users and their children. Investigators followed a matched
group of heroin users in Sydney and New York for three years.
At the end of the study, eight of the 16 people in the New
York group had died, with six of the deaths attributable to
AIDS-related illnesses, compared to one death by overdose in
Sydney. In a letter to the Medical Journal of Australia,
investigators Lisa Maher and Bruce Johnson also asserted that
the New York drug addicts were less likely to participate in
needle exchange programs.