Las Vegas Review Journal reporter Ed Vogel recently interviewed Abigail Polus, Harm Reduction & Outreach Coordinator at HOPES, about the upcoming syringe exchange program:

The statistics are shocking: Seventy percent of illegal-injection drug users will contract hepatitis C from the use of dirty needles. About 10 percent will acquire HIV.

The lifetime cost of caring for a hepatitis patient is $500,000, and HIV lifetime health care costs are a minimum of $355,000.

Thirty percent of police who deal with addicts eventually will stick themselves with needles when they frisk injection-drug users. Nearly a fourth of officers suffer two or more needle sticks.

A clean needle costs 97 cents.

There is hope for the future.

Read more at SFGate.com.