Many programs also dispose of unsterile needles and provide an array of other services.
Needle and syringe programmes NSPs for HIV prevention KEY POINTS Needle and syringe programmes provide access to sterile needles and syringes to reduce transmission of HIV and other blood borne viruses from sharing injecting equipment Needle and syringe programmes can be provided through fixed sites, mobile sites, outreach services, vending machines and pharmacies Global coverage remains inadequate.
Only 12 countries are providing the WHO-recommended clean needles per person who injects per year Criminalisation, legal restrictions on those under 18, and stigma and discrimination are key barriers to effective needle and syringe programmes Funding for needle and syringe programmes is inadequate, largely due to lack of political support Explore this page to find out more about how needle and syringe programmes are deliveredcoverage of programmes across geographical regionsand barriers to accessing these programmes.
Needle and syringe programmes NSPs are a type of harm reduction initiative that provide clean needles and syringes to people who inject drugs sometimes referred to as PWID to reduce transmission of HIV and other blood borne viruses such as hepatitis B and C.
The World Health Organization WHO recommends providing sterile needles and syringes per drug injector per year, in order to effectively tackle HIV transmission via this route. The majority are run by drug services or pharmacies and operate from a range of fixed, mobile and outreach sites.
Many also work to reduce other harms associated with injecting drug use by providing: Fixed sites Fixed sites are typically located where the drugs are bought and sold openly. They are normally converted shops or offices and have a reception area for clients where they give out new, and receive used, injecting equipment.
At fixed sites, it is easier to offer additional services such as healthcare alongside testing and counselling for HIV and other blood-borne viruses. Some large mobile programmes act like fixed sites with testing and other healthcare services also available.
Others run in conjunction with fixed sites. In these instances, the fixed site is typically located in an area with high numbers of people who inject drugs with the mobile NSP focussing on harder to reach or smaller populations. For example, it is the preferred method of delivery in Haryana, Indiawhere a peer-led outreach programme provides one-to-one and group education sessions for people who inject drugs and has successfully reduced needle-sharing and other risky behaviour.
Outreach workers are tasked with encouraging people who inject drugs to use existing fixed or mobile sites. Syringe vending machines accept coins and tokens distributed by outreach workers in return for harm reduction packs. In Australia, these packs include several needles and syringes as well as alcohol swabs, cotton wool, sterile water and spoons.
Others contain educational materials. They are also installed in places where needles and syringes are hard to access. Most provide needles and syringes 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Some sell needles and syringes directly to people, while others exchange harm reduction kits for vouchers.
The main advantage of this delivery mode is that pharmacy networks are often already well established and located near to large groups of people who inject drugs.
In addition, their opening hours are often more convenient than those at fixed sites. Even where they do exist, some pharmacists are reluctant to sell needles and syringes or deal with their disposal.
Global NSP coverage remains inadequate. NSPs in Asia are delivered in a number of ways. In some places, fixed sites have been integrated with other facilities such as health clinics and pharmacies.
Implementation of NSPs throughout the region has largely been undertaken by civil society organisations. Despite progress in some countries, Afghanistan, India and Thailand have reported a decline in the number of programmes since In Thailand the number of NSP sites has more than halved, dropping from 38 in to just 14 in This has been attributed to a reduction in funding.
A lack of human resources, inflexible hours and harsh drug policies are cited as barriers to NSP access. In fact, they have one of the highest coverage rates in the world.Public opinion of needle exchange programs, like so many other issues, tends to hew closely to party affiliation, with the lowest levels of support coming from Republicans, McGinty said.
Syringe exchange, in which intravenous drug users can obtain fresh syringes, has been a controversial program in large part because it is perceived as promoting drug . 1. Federal Research on Syringe Exchange Programs Proves Effectiveness. Between and , the US Government funded seven reports on clean needle programs for persons who inject drugs.
Needle and syringe programmes are delivered in a number of ways including fixed sites, Some sell needles and syringes directly to people, while others exchange harm reduction kits for vouchers. The White House () 'Federal Funding Ban on Needle Exchange Programs' (accessed 18/04/) Needle Exchange Programs: Research Suggests Promise as an AIDS Prevention Strategy This report from the GAO is one of seven government-funded studies conducted during the s to explore whether.
NICE previously published needle exchange guidelines in , in which needle and syringe services were not advised for people under 18, but the organisation's director Professor Mike Kelly explained that a "completely different group" of people were presenting at programs.