HIPS Outreach Manager Jenna Mellor (pictured with Client Advocate Ed Gadson) exchanges needles around D.C. overnight, in the HIPS Needle Exchange van.
Washington, D.C. has one of the nation's highest HIV rates, and many of the newly infected are people using dirty needles to inject drugs. A small number of local nonprofits provide clean needles to drug users, but the main provider, PreventionWorks, closed earlier this year. And now another program is picking up the overflow. Rebecca Sheir pays a visit to HIPS (Helping Individual Prostitutes Survive), which doesn't just provide clean needles for drug users, but for transgendered people who need syringes for their hormones and silicone.
[Music: "Exchange" by Massive Attack from Massive Attack]