- Associated Press - Monday, June 22, 2015

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Health officials in Louisville say 57 intravenous drug users visited the city’s needle exchange program during its first week of operation.

A statement from Louisville’s Public Health and Wellness department says the program distributed 1,352 clean syringes, disposed of 189 used syringes and tested 12 people for HIV.

Dr. Sarah Moyer, the city’s interim public health and wellness director, said called the response strong and encouraging. She says the needle exchange allows health officials to work toward reducing the number of hepatitis C and HIV cases as well as connecting drug users with needed resources.

Louisville became the first city in the state to offer a needle exchange after legislators passed a law allowing local governments to set up programs in which addicts can swap dirty needles for clean ones.

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