Founder of Tacoma needle exchange dead at 73

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Associated Press

Posted on January 23, 2013 at 5:02 PM

TACOMA, Wash. (AP) — The Tacoma man who started one of the nation's first needle exchanges to prevent HIV-AIDS among drug users has died at age 73.

His daughter tells The News Tribune (http://is.gd/20CdmO ) David Purchase died Monday. The needle exchange he started in 1988 in downtown Tacoma was quickly copied across the nation. His friends and associates call Purchase a public health hero.

The Tacoma program, which was controversial at first, is now run by the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department.

Purchase also was a photographer for Boeing and shot test flights.

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Information from: The News Tribune, http://www.thenewstribune.com

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