Gov. Justice signs needle exchange program regulations

West Virginia Headlines

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice has signed a bill to introduce more stringent requirements to needle exchange programs that critics say will make it harder to get clean needles amid a spike in HIV cases in the state.

Justice signed the bill into law Thursday.

The legislation requires operators to offer an array of health outreach services.

Supporters say it will help those addicted to opioids get connected to health care to fight addiction.

The new rules take effect amid one of the nation’s highest spikes in HIV cases related to intravenous drug use.

Critics urged Justice to veto the bill, saying it would wipe out existing exchange programs and result in more lives lost.

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