LWVNCC supports comprehensive needle exchange programs, which also offer education and referrals to appropriate services, as part of a public health effort to reduce the spread of infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C.
Adopted by board 12/2005
The League of Women Voters of New Castle County believes that the possible transmission of HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases such as Hepatitis C via the sharing of contaminated needles puts uninfected addicts and their sexual partners at risk and is a public health problem which should be addressed by the State. We believe the strategy of exchanging clean needles for used needles as part of a structured program which includes education and referral services will result in more positive interactions with the addicted population. We also believe that while needle exchange programs may not change or reduce addiction rates, needle exchange programs will accomplish the primary goal of preventing further spread of blood-borne diseases.
We support programs which follow the National HIV Consortium/CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) guidelines:
“Well planned needle exchange programs provide the following services:
▪ Participants are issued an identification card and registered with the program.
▪ One clean needle/syringe is provided for one dirty needle/syringe
▪ Dirty needles are collected in proper container for safe disposal
▪ Service providers are accessible on a regular basis at specific locations
▪ Information is kept confidential and used only for public health research/education
▪ Security of the exchange sites and equipment is required
▪ Referrals are made to appropriate treatment and health & social service providers
▪ Appropriate levels of staff have expertise in working with injecting drug users
▪ Education about contracting HIV and other diseases through injection drug use/sexual contact is provided.”
We also support programs to decrease the spread of HIV/AIDS, hepatitis and other blood-borne diseases specifically targeted to youth and young adults.