Right-wing religious ideologues really fuck me off sometimes. Stupid moralistic arguments about ‘encouraging bad behavior’ ‘enabling drug use’ or ‘condoning illegal activities‘.  Needle exchange programs save lives. They’ve been saving lives since the 1980s. They don’t just keep drug users safe, they keep the whole sodding community safe because guess what? Other people, including right-wing religious ideologues, sleep with drug-using sex workers, and drug-using sex workers are at a higher risk of HIV if they don’t have access to clean needles. Guess what else? If they don’t have access to clean needles, injecting drug users aren’t going to stop using drugs, they’re going to use dirty needles. And if they access a treatment center to pick up needles, they might think about accessing treatment. And even if it didn’t keep the rest of the community safe, needle exchange programs keeps drug users safe. Doesn’t that touch your stupid religious conscience just a little bit? Or is HIV ‘just’ punishment for addiction? Oh, and for all those religious ideologue fiscal conservatives: needle exchange programs also save money, because you spend less money on fewer HIV infections.

One last thing: this entire rant is supported by rigorous scientific evidence, not some judgmental religious morality spouted by asshats.

This rant was brought to you by Republican proposals to cut $5mn of funding to HIV/AIDS programs in the District of Columbia.