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USA. NYC Syringe Programs Successfully Serving the Most Vulnerable New Yorkers

New York City’s syringe service programs (SSPs) are successfully getting harm reduction resources into the hands of the most vulnerable New Yorkers, according to new data released by the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH). (Filter, USA, 19.06.2019)


Understanding the public health consequences of suspending a rural syringe services program: a qualitative study of the experiences of people who inject drugs.

Allen ST, Grieb SM, O'Rourke A, Yoder R, Planchet E, White RH, Sherman SG.

Harm Reduct J. 2019 May 21;16(1):33. doi: 10.1186/s12954-019-0305-7.


Barriers to using new needles encountered by rural Appalachian people who inject drugs: implications for needle exchange

Stephen M. Davis, Alfgeir L. Kristjansson, Danielle Davidov, Keith Zullig, Adam Baus and Melanie Fisher

Harm Reduction Journal2019 16:23 


Drug injection, syringe source, and self-stigma in New York City

People with substance use problems are widely stigmatized, a harmful societal notion reinforced by media depictions of drug use, misguided public policy, and punishments by criminal justice systems. Drug-related stigma is highly present for people who inject drugs (PWID), likely due in part to its association with HIV. On top of this, PWID often feel ashamed of their habits. This “self-stigma” encourages PWID to hide their addiction, avoiding crucial treatment and social support. This week, as part of our Special Series on Stigma and Addiction, we review a study by Alexis Rivera and colleagues that investigated which injection risk behaviors and demographic factors are associated with self-stigma among PWID in New York City. (STASH, Vol. 15(5), 14.05.2019)


Perceived acceptability of and willingness to use syringe vending machines: results of a cross-sectional survey of out-of-service people who inject drugs in Tbilisi, Georgia

David Otiashvili, Irma Kirtadze, Irina Vardanashvili, Mzia Tabatadze and Allison J. Ober

Harm Reduction Journal 2019, 16:21, doi.org/10.1186/s12954-019-0292-8


Peer-delivered harm reduction and recovery support services: initial evaluation from a hybrid recovery community drop-in center and syringe exchange program.

Ashford RD, Curtis B, Brown AM.

Harm Reduct J. 2018 Oct 22;15(1):52. doi: 10.1186/s12954-018-0258-2.


Health Related Quality of Life in Individuals Transferred from a Needle Exchange Program and Starting Opioid Agonist Treatment.

Bråbäck M, Brådvik L, Troberg K, Isendahl P, Nilsson S, Håkansson A.

J Addict. 2018 Dec 19;2018:3025683. doi: 10.1155/2018/3025683. eCollection 2018.


Baseline differences in characteristics and risk behaviors among people who inject drugs by syringe exchange program modality: an analysis of the Miami IDEA syringe exchange

Siddharth Iyengar, Adam Kravietz, Tyler S. Bartholomew, David Forrest and Hansel E. Tookes

Harm Reduction Journal 2019, 16:7, doi.org/10.1186/s12954-019-0280-z


USA. More Companies Should Offer Bathroom Syringe Disposals Like Starbucks

(...) Starbucks recently began a pilot program of installing syringe disposal boxes in some of its bathrooms. The move follows a petition started by Starbucks employees, who are voicing concerns about filthy restrooms and accidental needle pricks on the job. (Filter Magazine, USA, 23.01.2019)


UK. Improving safety for people who inject drugs

An estimated 1 in 6 people who inject drugs share needles and syringes with other people, increasing their risk of infection with HIV, hepatitis B virus and hepatitis C virus. These infections are usually spread when blood from one person collects in the space between the needle and the plunger - the ‘dead space’ - and the injecting equipment is shared with someone else without having been cleaned. (NIHR Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care West (CLAHRC West), UK, Januar 2019)

Low dead space injecting equipment, which can come with fixed needles or needles that can be removed, has less space between the needle and the plunger when it’s fully pushed in. Research suggests that low dead space equipment could reduce the chance of spreading infections if it’s re-used or shared.

Needle and syringe programmes supply sterile equipment to people who inject drugs. Introducing low dead space injecting equipment with detachable needles to these programmes could reduce risk of infection among people who share equipment. But this move would only be effective if people who inject drugs, needle and syringe programmes, and commissioners are willing to switch to this safer equipment. (National Institute for Health Research, UK, Januar 2019)



Schottland. Mobile van to offer needle exchange in Glasgow to tackle HIV outbreak among drug injectors

A MOBILE van will distribute needles and provide healthcare out of hours to the city centre's drug injecting community in a bid to tackle Glasgow’s HIV outbreak. (Eveni ng Times, Schottland, 03.01.2019)


A Meta-analysis of the Association Between Needle Exchange Programs and HIV Seroconversion Among Injection Drug Users.

Mir MU, Akhtar F, Zhang M, Thomas NJ, Shao H.

Cureus. 2018 Sep 18;10(9):e3328. doi: 10.7759/cureus.3328. Review.


UK. New materials designed with people who inject drugs to promote the benefits of low dead space equipment

New posters, a booklet and an animation, co-designed by service users from Bristol Drugs Project, are being launched on 24 January to promote the benefits of low dead space injecting equipment for people who inject drugs, alongside broader harm reduction messages. (National Institute for Health Research, UK, 2018)


USA. Needle exchanges help combat the opioid crisis. But officials keep shutting them down. Stigma triumphs over evidence, even at the height of an opioid epidemic.

A California court halted Orange County’s only needle exchange program this week — a decision that illustrates the challenges these programs face despite significant evidence for their benefits. (VOX, USA, 29.11.2018)


Qualitative case study of needle exchange programs in the Central Appalachian region of the United States. 

Davis SM, Davidov D, Kristjansson AL, Zullig K, Baus A, Fisher M (2018) 

PLoS ONE 13(10): e0205466. doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0205466


USA. Drug Addiction: Controversial ‘Harm Reduction’ Policy May Lower Death Toll of Opioids, Meth

(...) Harm reduction for drug users is nothing new. Even in rural America, clean-needle distribution has been going on at least since the late 1980s, when the HIV epidemic showed that it respected no urban boundaries. (Newsweek, 22.10.2018)


USA. Needle-Exchange Program Connects Drug Users to Medical Care

ORLANDO, Florida — A syringe-exchange program established as part of the Infectious Disease Elimination Act (IDEA) has been successfully connecting injection-drug users with healthcare in Miami–Dade County. (Medscape, 10.09.2018)


Feasibility of needle and syringe programs in Tajikistan distributing low dead space needles

William A. Zule,Alisher Latypov,David Otiashvili,Steffani Bangeland Georgiy V. Bobashev

Harm Reduction Journal2018, 15:44, doi.org/10.1186/s12954-018-0249-3


USA. Needle exchanges have been proved to work against opioid addiction. They’re banned in 15 states.

Needle exchanges have been exhaustively studied — and proved to work. But stigma remains. (Vox, 22.06.2018)


UK. More than half of patients using needle exchange pilot tested positive for Hepatitis C 

More than half of those using a needle exchange programme were positive for hepatitis C antibodies, and just under half of these were previously unaware that they were positive for the virus. (The Pharmaceutical Journal, UK, 17.05.2018)


Kanada. Canada to test first needle exchange program in a North American prison 

Program aims to stop the spread of infections such as HIV, Aids and hepatitis C among inmates who are drug users. (The Guardian, UK, 15.05.2018)


UK. National Needle Exchange Forum: Straight to the Point

A writeup of the National Needle Exchange Forum event held earlier this year. Includes presentations. (NEF, 07.05.2018)


Health Outcomes for Clients of Needle and Syringe Programs in Prisons.

Lazarus JV, Safreed-Harmon K, Hetherington KL, Bromberg DJ, Ocampo D, Graf N, Dichtl A, Stöver H, Wolff H.

Epidemiol Rev. 2018 Apr 12. doi: 10.1093/epirev/mxx019.



Treatment initiation strategies for syringe exchange referrals to methadone maintenance: A randomized clinical trial.

Kidorf M, Brooner RK, Leoutsakos JM, Peirce J.

Drug Alcohol Depend. 2018 Apr 16;187:343-350. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2018.03.009.



Hepatitis C Treatment Outcomes for People Who Inject Drugs Treated in an Accessible Care Program Located at a Syringe Service Program.

Eckhardt BJ, Scherer M, Winkelstein E, Marks K, Edlin BR.

Open Forum Infect Dis. 2018 Mar 6;5(4):ofy048. doi: 10.1093/ofid/ofy048. eCollection 2018 Apr.


USA. Why a City at the Center of the Opioid Crisis Gave Up a Tool to Fight It

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — To its critics here, the needle exchange was an unregulated, mismanaged nightmare — a “mini-mall for junkies and drug dealers” in the words of Danny Jones, the city’s mayor — drawing crime into the city and flooding the streets with syringes. To its supporters, it was a crucial response to an escalating crisis, and the last bulwark standing between the region and a potential outbreak of hepatitis and H.I.V.

When Charleston closed the program last month after a little more than two years of operation, it was the latest casualty of a conflict playing out in a growing number of American communities. At least seven other such exchanges have closed in the past two years, even as dozens of others have opened. (New York Times, 27.04.2018)


Australien. Needle and Syringe Programs in Australia: Peer-led Best Practice

The Needle and Syringe Programs in Australia: Peer-led Best Practice report outlines recommendations for peer-led best practice for needle and syringe program (NSP) service delivery in Australia. (AIVL - Australian Injecting & Illicit Drug Users League, 09.04.2018)


Schottland. NHS buys mobile needle exchange for addicts amid HIV 'outbreak'

The NHS has bought a mobile needle exchange for heroin addicts to use in a bid to halt an “uncontained HIV outbreak” in Scotland’s largest city.

It is estimated that one-in-five people who inject drugs in public places in Glasgow are now infected with the incurable virus that attacks the immune system and can lead to Aids.

NHS figures obtained by the Sunday Herald show there has been 117 new HIV cases among an estimated 400 to 500 people who inject drugs publicly in Glasgow since 2015. (The Herals – Sunday Herald, Schottland, 18.03.2018)


Public support for safe consumption sites and syringe services programs to combat the opioid epidemic.

McGinty EE, Barry CL, Stone EM, Niederdeppe J, Kennedy-Hendricks A, Linden S, Sherman SG.

Prev Med. 2018 Feb 23;111:73-77. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2018.02.026.



Deutsche AIDS-Hilfe: Konsumzubehör

Im Wissen um die Risiken des intravenösen und inhalativen Drogengebrauchs haben sich in den letzten Jahren beeindruckende Entwicklungen im Bereich der Konsumutensilien (Harm Reduction Tools) vollzogen. Im Fokus steht HIV, Hepatitiden und Abszesse aufgrund von Verunreinigungen und falschen Infektionstechniken zu reduzieren.

Insbesondere das Wissen um die leichtere Übertragbarkeit des Hepatitis B und C Virus  hat dazu geführt, dass eine Reihe neuartiger Einwegutensilien eingeführt wurden.

Hiermit werden erstmals Standards zur Vergabe von Konsumutensilien in unterschiedlichen Einrichtungen beschrieben. Darüber hinaus werden Empfehlungen zur Dokumentation, Arbeitssicherheit sowie zur Qualifikation von Mitarbeiter_innen formuliert.

Die Empfehlungen wurden unter Mitwirkung einer bundesweiten Expert_innengruppe, die sich aus Mitarbeiter_innen aus Aids- und Drogenhilfen mit langjährigen Erfahrungen in der Konsumutensilienvergabe zusammensetzte, erarbeitet.

Wir wollen diese Seite nutzen, um über Weiterentwicklung von Konsumzubehör zu informieren und deren Potentiale und Wirkweisen vorzustellen.(DAH – Deutsche AIDS-Hilfe, März 2018)