Strengthening Syringe Services Programs (SSPs)


This five-year, two-component cooperative agreement will increase access to harm reduction services for people who use drugs (PWUD) and prevent viral hepatitis, HIV, and other infectious diseases associated with injection drug use. Approximately $7.7 million of FY 2022 funding has been awarded across the two program components:

Component 1 – Support a national network of Syringe Services Programs (SSPs) and oversee implementation and use of an annual survey of SSPs

Component 2 – Support and strengthen implementation of SSPs

Program outcomes include:

  • Improved collaboration and communication among SSPs nationwide
  • Enhanced data and information on prevention and treatment services for PWUD through SSPs
  • Increased access to harm reduction services
  • Decreased unsafe injection practices
  • Decreased new infections of viral hepatitis and HIV, endocarditis, and other infections
  • Decreased overdose rates and mortality
  • Increased capacity for responding to outbreaks of infections associated with injection drug use
  • Increased services available through SSPs in the US

Funded Project:  Component 1

Awardee Name: Research Triangle Institute, International (RTI)

Funding Amount:  $749,934

Target Population: SSP workforce (e.g., outreach workers, counselors, health care professionals, administrators) within current and future SSPs and their local partner organizations, stakeholders, and people who inject drugs or people who use drugs who may be at risk for injection drug use.

Sectors: Public Health/Non-Governmental Organization (NGO)

Summary of Project: RTI will support and strengthen a national SSP network. Working closely with their partner organizations (University of Washington, North American Syringe Exchange Network, National Harm Reduction Coalition, and Heluna Health), RTI’s team will curate a list of communication mechanisms to be used to disseminate public health information among SSPs. RTI’s team will also oversee the implementation and use of an annual SSP survey to identify where more support and resources are needed to successfully implement safe syringe distribution and disposal; prevent infectious disease and infectious complications from injection drug use; offer testing and treatment; and mitigate other harms due to drug use.

Funded Project: Component 2

Awardee Name: National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD)

Funding Amount: $6,954,478

Target Population: The target populations are the SSP workforce (e.g., health care professionals, outreach workers, counselors, administrators) and people who inject drugs or people who use drugs who may be at risk for injection drug use in geographic areas experiencing disproportionately high rates of viral hepatitis and HIV and other consequences of injection drug use.

Sectors: Public Health/Non-Governmental Organization (NGO)

Summary of Project: NASTAD, in collaboration with Voices of Community Activists & Leaders (VOCAL) and the University of Washington, will use funding to expand the reach of SSPs and harm reduction services across the United States to prevent infectious consequences of injection drug use and overdose. This will allow SSPs to recruit and retain staff to perform core functions like distribution and disposal of sterile supplies, infectious disease prevention and control, and facilitation of comprehensive social and medical service referrals. It will also provide support for comprehensive SSP services, such as expanded vaccination services, HIV and viral hepatitis testing and linkage to care, naloxone distribution, syringe distribution and disposal, and care coordination within SSPs.