Increasing sterile syringe access through syringe exchange programs and non-prescription pharmacy sales is essential to reducing syringe sharing among injection drug users and decreasing rates of HIV/AIDS and hepatitis C transmission. Syringe exchange programs have also been shown to increase the safe disposal of used syringes, protecting police officers and the public from accidental exposure to blood-borne diseases.
Despite the benefits of these life-saving programs, legal and bureaucratic barriers still prevent injection drug users from accessing clean syringes. The Drug Policy Alliance has led efforts to increase syringe access in several states and is playing a key role in repealing the federal syringe funding ban. We continue to push for reforms that would greatly reduce rates of disease transmission, overdose and other risks associated with injection drug use.
Legislators appreciate hearing from their constituents, and they are elected to represent our views. Always give your legislator your name, address, and telephone number so that they know you are one of their constituents. Be sure to include this information whether you visit in person, call, or write.
When you contact your legislators, a short sentence or two about why you personally support or oppose a certain proposal is fine.
Most importantly, always be courteous and clear when communicating with your legislators. Remember, legislators are people, too!
The Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network (www.aidslaw.ca) promotes the human rights of people living with and vulnerable to HIV/AIDS, in Canada and internationally, through research, legal and policy analysis, education, and community mobilization. The Legal Network is Canada's leading advocacy organization working on the legal and human rights issues raised by HIV/AIDS.
The HIV Prevention Justice Alliance is a national network of over 70 groups building a unified, effective movement for HIV prevention in the United States.
The mission of AIDS United is to end the AIDS epidemic in the United States. We will achieve this goal through national, regional and local policy/advocacy, strategic grantmaking, and organizational capacity building. With partners throughout the country, we will work to ensure that people living with and affected by HIV/AIDS have access to the prevention and care services they need and deserve.
A report in favor of needle exchange programs as a way to reduce the spread of HIV/AIDS and increase access to treatment.
For more than two decades, removal of the ban on federal funding for syringe exchange programs (SEPs) was a top policy priority for amfAR. Following the removal of the ban by Congress in December 2009, amfAR is now working to encourage effective implementation of federal support for SEPs and to ensure the continued availability of federal resources for these evidence-based HIV prevention programs.
Protecting Law Enforcement from Needle Stick Injuries - Made in cooperation with the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), this educational documentary explains how officers can reduce the risk of infection by needle sticks on the job. LAPD officers visit a needle exchange on their beat and explore the ways that Needle Exchange Programs help keep law enforcement officers and their communities safer. Produced by Gretchen Hildebran.
These fact sheets focus on HIV prevention issues related to syringes.