Saturday, November 3, 2007
Why operate a syringe exchange?
According to studies conducted by the Chemical Dependency Institute of Beth Israel Medical Center, the rate of HIV infection in New York State among intravenous drug users enrolled in syringe exchange programs has been reduced by 50%. These programs educate participants about the dangers of sharing contaminated syringes and provide a gateway to drug treatment and HIV-related services.
PHP has been authorized by the State Department of Health to conduct needle exchange since 1995. The goal of this service is four-fold:
* Eliminate the need to share used syringes by providing injecting drug users with sterile syringes
* Reduce HIV transmission among substance users by helping them develop and maintain safer behaviors and providing supportive services such as nutrition education, health care and case management;
* Help substance users achieve and maintain stability of drug use and enhance their ability to achieve their personal goals; and
* Educate substance users about their personal responsibility in reducing the transmission of HIV and Hepatitis to others