WHEREAS, Prevention Point Philadelphia began syringe exchange operations in North Philadelphia in 1991. At the time, the possession of syringes were illegal in the City of Philadelphia. Prevention Point Philadelphia, as a grassroots organization, lobbied then-Mayor Ed Rendell to issue Executive Order No. 4-92, which instituted a "City-wide sterile syringe exchange program" to combat the HIV/AIDS epidemic, on July 27, 1992. Prevention Point Philadelphia was thus officially established as the City's only sterile syringe exchange program, which remains the case today; and

WHEREAS, In Philadelphia, 24% of AIDS cases among women and 17% of AIDS cases among men are the result of shared needles or of sex with an infected injection drug user. The most vulnerable members of society are disproportionately affected by the injection-related spread of HIV. Particularly vulnerable are women of color. Although African-American women make up only 12% of women in the U.S., they account for 50% of IDU-related AIDS cases among women. Similarly, Latina women account for 25% of injection-related AIDS cases among women, but only 10% of all women in the United States. Philadelphia residents are at five times the rate of the national population for HIV infection; and

WHEREAS, Over the past 25 years, Prevention Point Philadelphia has provided an ever-expanding list of services to the community while upholding its original duties. Focused on harm reduction in all facets of its services, Prevention Point Philadelphia offers the following services: syringe exchange, free medical care, medication assisted treatment, HIV/HCV testing, case management, a drop-in center, a legal clinic, overdose prevention and reversal training, free meals, mail services for the homeless, linkage to drug treatment services, a wound care clinic, and housing services; and

WHEREAS, Through programs like Clinica Bienestar, a comprehensive HIV primary care clinic co-hosted by Philadelphia FIGHT and Prevention Point Philadelphia (PPP), staff provide culturally sensitive services to the Puerto Rican population in Philadelphia who are either actively using or have a history of using injection drugs and have received inconsistent HIV medical care. Dr. Laura Bamford, case management, and outreach staff are bilingual in English and Spanish; and

WHEREAS, Other programs like CRAFT, a project operated by Community Behavioral Health (CBH) and Behavioral Health Special Initiative (BHSI), work under the banner of the Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual Disability Services. CRAFT works with Prevention Point Philadelphia participants to connect them to addiction treatment whether they have medical insurance or not. The presence of CRAFT employees on location at Prevention Point Philadelphia improves access to treatment for those in need; and

WHEREAS, The mission of Prevention Point Philadelphia is "To promote health, empowerment, and safety for communities affected by drug use and poverty." Prevention Point Philadelphia is to be commended for its unwavering commitment to treating individuals with dignity and respect while meeting their needs with a broad range of medical and non-medical services for the past 25 years; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, BY THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF PHILADELPHIA, That it hereby honors and congratulates Prevention Point Philadelphia on the occasion of its 25th Anniversary and thanks them for their dedication and service throughout the City of Philadelphia.

FURTHER RESOLVED, That an Engrossed copy of this resolution be presented to Prevention Point Philadelphia as evidence of the sincere respect and admiration of this legislative body.

Introduced by: Maria D. Quinones and David Oh

Sponsored by Councilmembers:
Maria D. Quinones Sanchez
David Oh
Cherelle L. Parker
Allan Domb
Helen Gym
Cindy Bass
Derek S. Green
Jannie L. Blackwell
William K. Greenlee
Bobby Henon
Kenyatta Johnson
Curtis Jones, Jr.
Blondell Reynolds Brown
Mark Squilla
Al Taubenberger