Needle exchange is one of the most effective HIV and Hepatitis C prevention programs currently available for injection drug users. It involves exchanging used needles for clean ones, as well as obtaining other works for injecting, information and support.
Needle exchange programs have been shown to reduce HIV and hepatitis C in our communities without increasing drug use. Studies have shown decreases in both the number of persons who become infected with HIV and the number of people who get Hepatitis in communities that have needle exchange programs.
Finally, it is a way to safely dispose of all contaminated needles turned in to the exchange. This reduces the number of discarded needles on our sidewalks and in our bus stops, yards, parks, and playgrounds. Our goal is to get used needles out of circulation as quickly as possible. The longer a needle remains in circulation, the more opportunities there are for that needle to pass on a blood-borne disease.