ATGC, the original catalyst and sponsor of the bill, has been working with legislators for the past four years on the legislation. Cosponsors of H.B. 92 include Representatives Foley, Rogers, Ashford, Stinziano, Fedor, Strahorn, Brown, Letson, Barnes, Bishoff and Johnson.
COLUMBUS (October 2, 2013)—Advocates from the AIDS Taskforce of Greater Cleveland (ATGC)<http://aidstaskforce.org>, an affiliate of AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF)<http://www.aidshealth.org>, today lauded the Ohio House of Representatives for passing House Bill 92, landmark legislation which revises state code to authorize the establishment of syringe exchange programs for the purpose of reducing the transmission of bloodborne pathogens such as HIV and hepatitis. The bill was authored by State Representatives Nickie J. Antonio<http://www.ohiohouse.gov/nickie-j-antonio> (D, House District 13) and Barbara A. Sears<http://www.ohiohouse.gov/barbara-r-sears>, (R, House District 47). AIDS Taskforce of Greater Cleveland, was the original catalyst and sponsor of the bill four years ago and has been an ardent supporter throughout the legislative process. Cosponsors of H.B. 92 include Representatives Foley, Rogers, Ashford, Stinziano, Fedor, Strahorn, Brown, Letson, Barnes, Bishoff and Johnson.
“This bill allows for communities to create a first line of defense against the epidemic created by the heroin crisis,” said sponsor of the bill, State Rep. Nickie J. Antonio, (D-Lakewood). “It creates a path to treatment for those who are drug addicted and recover dangerous used syringes from playgrounds, parks, and city streets reducing contact by innocent children.”
The Cleveland Needle Exchange, which has been operating for the past 16 years, in one of only two needle exchange programs currently operating in Ohio. The other program is in the southern rural town of Portsmouth, which has operated its own needle exchange program for the past two years. Both programs were established via emergency resolutions passed by the respective city councils.