Cutting-edge HIV prevention technologies and strategies now allow CDC to help local public health officials identify where HIV prevention and treatment services are most urgently needed. CDC can assess and address gaps in staffing, expertise, and data management systems that prevent states and local areas from being able to fully investigate and respond to increases in HIV transmission and outbreaks. CDC can also help these jurisdictions take HIV prevention and treatment resources quickly to where they are needed. Real-time response systems are key to ending the HIV epidemic in the United States.

Syringe Services Programs (SSPs)

Comprehensive SSPs have been shown to dramatically reduce HIV risk and can provide an entry point for a range of services to help stop drug use, overdose deaths, and infectious disease transmission. Research shows that new SSP users are five times more likely to enter drug treatment, and about three times more likely to stop using drugs, than people who don’t use the programs.

Yet many communities now threatened by the opioid epidemic and increasing injection drug use have not had the resources to establish effective SSPs. CDC works with the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)external icon to increase access to and use of comprehensive SSPs and works with local communities to implement SSPs where they are needed and permitted by state and local laws. SAMHSA published an evidence-based resource guide, Prevention and Treatment of HIV Among People Living with Substance Use and/or Mental Disordersexternal icon, which contains a comprehensive set of modules with information to improve health outcomes for people at risk for developing, living with, or recovering from mental illness and/or substance use disorder (SUD). Interventions throughout the guide are aligned with the Ending the HIV Epidemic initiative and designed for practitioners, administrators, community leaders, and others considering an intervention for their organization or community.

Resources are available for the HIV prevention workforce to increase their capacity to identify, investigate, and respond to potential HIV outbreaks.