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Volunteer pricked by needle while cleaning up North End bocce courts

A resident cleaning up leaves at the Langone Park bocce courts had to spend a night at Mass. General after being pricked by a discarded needle Monday evening, City Councilor Sal LaMattina (North End, East Boston, Charlestown) said today.

LaMattina added the resident will have to undergo an HIV test in a month.

LaMattina spoke during a discussion on how to train children to avoid getting pricked by needles in city parks.

Councilor Tim McCarthy (Hyde Park, Mattapan, Roslindale), said a two-person city needle team has recovered 5,000 discarded needles so far this year. McCarthy began discussions on teaching after a girl was pricked by a needle at Iacono Playground in Readville in July.

McCarthy said widespread availability of needles has helped slow the spread of communicable diseases, such as AIDS - but at the cost of needles winding up all over the place.

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Comments

Earlier this year whilst dropping kiddo of at the Eliot School on Commercial St, she almost stepped on 3 needles. Cops were across the street and I notified them and they came right over and took care of them. This was the day my kiddo learned a new lesson: what "sharps" are.

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Saw 2 discarded needles on Comm. Ave. the other day. Reported it to Citizens Connect and was sadly surprised to see a specific category for needles... a shame for kids to grow up in a society where drug addiction in not uncommon.

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hopefully the person will be ok. i know opiates have been a bigger topic as of late, and these issues need to be addressed. last fall my wife and i came across probably 50 needles at the shell station in brighton (specifically by the tire pump) - my wife was wearing sandals and i had to yell at her to not move because she was within inches of touching one with her foot.

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Just remember, HEP C treatment without insurance could run up to $100K - + . Hope the volunteer is cleared and okay.

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The transmission rates for HIV in these kinds of incidents are statistically low. HEPC is a bit more robust. There are front-line treatments upon potential exposure, and major area hospitals have STIK page staff to handle infectious disease cases on-site with occupational health, but I have no idea how expensive this could get for a random person with "insurance."

The concern is that the treatment has to start usually before a diagnosis, as a preventative measure.

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had a Sharps stick last fall at work doing some cleaning. (The maintenance director was "reusing" Sharps containers by dumping the Sharps out into a trashbag. Very smart.)

She spent several hours at the emergency room and was given a 10-day course of very strong antibiotics and then a 30 day course of anti-retrovirals. She was made very ill from the side effects of the drugs and had to take it easy for the whole month because she had a hyper-touchy stomach and felt dizzy and out-of-it. She had to go for Hepatitis and AIDS tests periodically for 6 months to a year.

Because this happened at work, worker's comp covered all of it. I can't imagine how pricey it would be on private insurance.

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Depending on what genotype of the virus you have, a most common treatment is a combination of Harvoni with Ribavirin for 12 weeks. Total abstinence from alcohol is ordered by doctor during treatment. If you have medical insurance, most insurers cover the treatment and pills get supplied to you from a third party pharmacist who is one of only a few who are approved by the insurance company. Depending on the genotype you have been diagnosed with, your doctor sends a written request to your insurance company (like a "case pleading") if the insurance company denies treatment coverage. Once insurance notifies your doctor that they decide to cover the medication, it means it will only cost approximately $20 per month out of your pocket when the pills arrive. Without insurance, Harvoni alone is thousands of dollars. However, you must also conduct blood tests with your doctor for approx. 6 months (3 months of pills, 6 months of giving blood). Good health insurance is a blessing for all.

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I would suggest placing sharps bins in public areas but 1, that would not be politically viable, and 2. I doubt the users would care enough to use them after they shoot up.

Also 5,000 needles this year? Lets start calling it what it is, latent bio-terrorism against the general public. The terrorism tag will allow us to dump billions of dollars into fighting it rather than spying on anti-oil pipeline protesters and brown people visiting mosques.

Yes, the war on drugs is an abject failure but something has to change so innocent people raking leaves do not get potentially infected with life ending completely preventable diseases.

// Ill get off my soap box now.

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Channel 7 did a story last week about Uphans Corner station and showed hundreds of discarded needles, I talked to a cop at South Station and he told me that Malden and Quincy station are overrun by junkies who leave their needles in the rest rooms and platforms.

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and one of those NPR-listening moms comes through with two young children, having them pick up trash in the park. She discovers needles next to a bush, tells kids "OK, we're done here," and hurries kids away.

I've seen people from the Kennedy School and elsewhere of Harvard play frisbee and tumble over the spot with the needles. Will it take some foreign dignitary catching HIV or hepatitis in JFK Park, before the junkies get cleared out?

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Some cities are putting special sharp receptacles in public parks. I think the best idea is for cities to offer a small amount of money, say $5, and a clean needle to addicts who bring in a used needle. Money incentives can really change behavior. Look at the reduction in litter from the bottle deposit.

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On the other hand, we don't want to encourage people to collect needles off the ground for the money.

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That is a ridiculously high amount.

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