Georgia House passes bill legalizing needle exchange programs

Georgia House passes bill legalizing needle exchange programs
(Source: Patrick Semansky)

(WTVM) - The Georgia House has overwhelmingly passed a proposal that would legalize programs giving drug users clean needles in exchange for used ones.

The measure aims to reduce the spread of HIV and Hepatitis C infections among drug users in Georgia who share needles.

This comes after the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ranked Georgia fifth among U.S. states for new HIV infections in 2017.

The House approved the bill 166-3 on Monday.

Republican Rep. Houston Gaines of Athens is the the bill’s main supporter. He says people who use needle exchange programs are far more likely to enter treatment programs and far less likely to catch dangerous diseases through needle sharing.

The bill will now move onto the senate. Stay with News Leader 9 for the latest details on if this bill will become new law.

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