HC Deb 10 July 2003 vol 408 c1011W
Mr. Sarwar

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on needle exchange schemes for drug addicts. [123480]

Miss Melanie Johnson

The United Kingdom adopted harm minimisation strategies in the early 1990s as a preventive measure for HIV/AIDS. Needle exchange schemes were developed as part of the strategy. Over 90 per cent. of primary care trusts in England have needle exchange programmes and over 27 million needles and syringes are exchanged each year.

On international comparisons, we have been very successful in holding down levels of HIV/AIDS within the high-risk group of injecting drug users.