HC Deb 05 June 1990 vol 173 c580W
57. Mr. Strang

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on his policy towards the establishment of needle exchange schemes to reduce the spread of HIV among injecting drug misusers.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley

We issued guidance to health authorities in September 1988 on establishing syringe exchange schemes. We estimate that there are currently some 120 schemes in England and schemes are now starting in Wales. Selected schemes continue to be monitored. Overall, our aim is to determine their effectiveness in changing drug misusers' behaviour away from practices which carry a risk of acquiring or transmitting HIV infection.