Features

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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