September 10, 2017
This article originally appeared on AIDS United.
Infected needles resulted in 2,635 to 3,852 new diagnoses of HIV in 2014. Further, 68% of new hepatitis C infections in 2014 were linked to injection drug use. Syringe Services Programs (SSPs) are a proven and cost-effective approach for preventing transmission of HIV and viral hepatitis among people who inject drugs, reducing risk of “accidental sticks” to sanitation workers and police, and engaging people who inject drugs in substance use treatment programs. As the dual prescription opioid and heroin epidemics continue to grow, funding for SSPs must be scaled up to meet this rapidly increasing need.