JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) – Officials say the syringe exchange program in Juneau will shut down at the end of the year unless it can secure additional funding.

The Juneau Empire reports the Alaskan Aids Assistance Association office in downtown Juneau regularly serves more than 100 people, seeking to cut down on the risk of communicable diseases that can spread by reusing and sharing needles.

Organization Executive Director Heather Davis says federal funding for syringe exchanges and other HIV prevention programs has shifted to areas where more people are affected by the disease, causing Alaska programs to receive less funding.

Southeast Advisory Board member Melissa Griffiths says the organization needs to raise $15,000 to stay open until next June.

Griffiths says without the program, it will be harder for people to acquire clean syringes.

Information from: Juneau (Alaska) Empire, http://www.juneauempire.com

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