With the ban on federal funding for needle-exchange still in effect, philanthropist George Soros gave a shot in the arm to syringe swaps nationwide. The harm-reduction hero threw down $1 million for sterile syringes. Soros, who contributed the same amount to 1996's California and Arizona medical marijuana initiatives, told The New York Times that his donation will “save the most lives” of all his endeavors. He challenged feds to “respect scientific evidence” that exchanges curb the spread of HIV. Meanwhile, back on the street

1997 (as of September 30): 1,682
Total (since Jan. 1, 1993): 10,235