Essay on A Research Study On Needle Exchange Programs

1295 Words Nov 29th, 2016 6 Pages
The United States has experienced an increase in the number of cases of Hepatitis C over the past decade. There are counties across the United States that are at an increased risk for Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) outbreaks. These diseases are efficiently transmitted by exposure to contaminated blood and blood products and often lead to co-infection. This has been shown by increased transmission occurring among injection drug users, primarily those under the age of thirty (Zibbell et al, 2015). Needle exchange programs have been used as a preventative strategy for reductions in HIV/Hepatitis C transmission among injection drug users. This case study will examine and compare three communities in regards to their practices, successes, and barriers to decreasing HIV/Hepatitis C transmission.
Needle exchange is the process of providing clean needles in exchange for dirty needles to injection drug users (IDUs). Other necessary supplies are also provided such as alcohol wipes, tourniquets, other sterile injection equipment and condoms (National Alliance of State & Territorial AIDS Directors, 2012). Comprehensive programs link the IDUs to educational materials, HIV and Hepatitis C screenings, substance abuse treatment, and additional services. Needle exchange programs can also be referred to as syringe exchange programs, syringe access programs, sterile syringe provision and syringe services programs among others (New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene,…

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