The Blue Point Foundation (http://www.kekpont.hu/) has been a valued member of the Correlation Network, (www.correlation-net.org) a European network of low threshold service providers, universities, research groups and drug user advisory organizations. Our members have welcomed the Blue Point organization as a respected leader in providing harm reduction services, HIV/HCV prevention and a comprehensive range of social services to Budapest’s’ most vulnerable individuals,people who inject drugs (PWID).
Among its range of services, the Blue Point Foundation has been operating a needle and syringe exchange program (NSP) since 2006 in the 8th district of Budapest that has become the largest NSP service in Hungary. The Blue Point NSP has been highly effective in preventing HIV, viral hepatitis and caring for its current 3200 registered users, including the 100-150 clients that walk through its doors everyday. More than 60% of Blue Points registered NSP clients are local residents, socially disadvantaged, with low education, poor employment opportunities, and predominantly of Roma origin.
Unfortunately, the municipality of Budapest's 8th district decided to terminate the cooperation agreement with the Blue Point Foundation.
From our point of view and in regard of overwhelming evidence, that NSP works to reduce blood borne infection diseases, The Blue Point NSP program is a critical and essential component to Budapest’s public health services, offering well-proven comprehensive and effective interventions to control and prevent the spread of infectious diseases. Un-addressed, the reported increased frequency of injections will spread HIV/HCV infections quickly, the health care system will become over burdened, and sadly many individuals and families will suffer needlessly.
Therefore from a medical and public health ethical perspective, we sincerely ask and recommend reconsiderations for closing the Blue Point Foundation NSP services.
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