What the needles said

Yale scientists couldn’t test drug users for HIV so they followed the hypodermics instead—and proved the worth of one of the nation’s first legal needle exchanges. A decade later, countless lives have been saved as a result.

On a balmy day in November 1990, a battered van that once delivered loaves of bread to Yale University dining halls set off on a voyage through New Haven’s inner-city neighborhoods. Its cargo? Clean syringes for the city’s drug users.


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