Congressman José E. Serrano (D–N.Y.) opened the 111th Congress on January 6 with a bill that would lift the ban on federally funded syringe exchange programs, according to the Harm Reduction Coalition. He is joined by 27 co-sponsors.

H.R. 179—the Community AIDS and Hepatitis Prevention (CAHP) Act of 2009—would eliminate all laws currently preventing federal funding for such programs. By providing clean syringes, the programs help lower transmission risk for blood borne pathogens such as HIV or hepatitis among intravenous drug users.