David Purchase, Founder of Nation's First Needle Exchange, Dies

Started it in 1988 in Tacoma


A day after David Purchase died, friends remembered him Tuesday as a pioneer who fought HIV-AIDS on the streets of Tacoma and gave birth to what became an international health movement.

With a borrowed TV tray and a folding chair, Purchase began the nation's first exchange of dirty needles for clean ones in 1988 while sitting on a street corner in downtown Tacoma.