Syringe Services Programs
Syringe Services Programs (SSPs) are a community-based HIV prevention strategy for persons who inject drugs (PWID). SSPs aim to reduce PWID’s risk of getting and transmitting HIV, viral hepatitis, and other blood-borne infections by using sterile injection equipment for each injection.
About Syringe Services Programs
Syringe Services Programs (SSPs) are associated with an estimated 50% reduction in HIV and hepatitis C virus (HCV) incidence. When combined with medications that treat opioid dependence (also known as medication-assisted treatment), HIV and HCV transmission is reduced by over two-thirds, according to research.
SSPs serve as a bridge to other health services, including HIV and HCV testing and treatment and medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorder.
In many jurisdictions, PWID can access sterile needles and syringes and other injection paraphernalia through SSPs and through pharmacies without a prescription.
SSPs prevent overdose deaths by teaching PWID how to prevent overdose and how to recognize, respond to, and reverse a drug overdose by providing training on how to use naloxone, a medication used to reverse overdose. Many SSPs provide “overdose prevention kits” containing naloxone to PWID.
SSPs have partnered with law enforcement, providing naloxone to local police departments to help them respond and prevent death when someone has overdosed. SSPs also protect first responders and the public by providing safe needle disposal and reducing the presence of discarded needles in the community.
- Prevent transmission of blood-borne infections.
- Stop substance abuse.
- Prevent overdose deaths.
- Support public safety.
Strategy Essential Elements
- Provide vaccination, testing, linkage to infectious disease care and substance use treatment.
- Provide access to and disposal of syringes and injection equipment.
- Offer referrals to medicated-assisted treatment.
- Protect first responders and the public by providing safe needle disposal and reducing the presence of discarded needles in the community.
There is no CDC-supported training currently available for SSP. Technical assistance for SSP implementation is available.
To request technical assistance:
- CDC’s directly funded health department and CBO partners may request technical assistance by submitting a request in the CBA Tracking System.
- Organizations not directly funded by CDC may contact their local health department for assistance in submitting a request.
If you have questions or need additional assistance, please contact DHAPCBB@cdc.gov.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has information and program guidance on SSPs.
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