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Community & Behavioral Health | Recovery | Social Change


Changing the Conversation

Lonnie McAdoo

Lonnie McAdoo
Lonnie is a Trainer at the Center for Social Innovation. He brings more than 25 years of local and national experience as a Harm Reduction provider and seasoned trainer. He has run programs at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, AIDS Action Committee, and Dimock Community Health Center. Lonnie has a B.F.A. from Boston University’s School of Fine Arts.
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Recent Posts

Benefits of Harm Reduction

I have been an HIV Prevention provider for over 25 years. I consider myself a Harm Reduction Provider/Harm Reductionist—a title I am very proud to claim—though it wasn’t always this way. I first heard about Harm Reduction in the mid-1990s through a program doing needle exchange in the low-income, community of color where I worked and lived. As I saw White men coming into a Black neighborhood handing out needles, I had many concerns. I thought their message was: “Go ahead, destroy your lives and your community, just don’t get the rest of us infected!” I also couldn’t understand why our cries for more treatment were being met with more needles. Since then, I have learned just how wrong I was about the intentions of needle exchange programs and the underlying philosophy of Harm Reduction.