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The Role of Syringe Service Programs in Ending HIV and HCV

Updated: Aug 24, 2021

A Conversation with Dr. Redonna Chandler

Please join us for the webinar The Role of Syringe Service Programs in Ending HIV and HCV on Wednesday, September 8 2021.

The escalating opioid epidemic has increased injection drug use, which has contributed to the spread of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis C virus (HCV), and other infectious diseases. People who engage in drug use are at higher risk of contracting and transmitting blood borne infectious diseases through shared syringes, needles, or other drug-preparation equipment [1]. Approximately 1 in 10 HIV diagnoses are attributed to injected drug use [2].

Decades of research demonstrates SSPs are a key component to combat the opioid epidemic, prevent the spread of infectious diseases, save costs, and control outbreaks in vulnerable communities [3,4]. SSPs can reduce HIV and HCV cases by at least 50%. In addition to providing free sterile syringes and the safe disposal of used syringes and other injection equipment, SSPs provide, education on safer injection practices and wound care, overdose prevention through the provision of naloxone (a medication that can reverse an overdose), and linkage to a variety of services to test and treat related health conditions including HIV, HEP C, and substance use disorders (SUD).

Guest speaker Dr. Redonna Chandler, Director of the AIDS Research Program and the HEALing Communities Study at the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) will discuss the current trends in HIV and HCV infections, the evidence and research on SSPs, and expansion of successful models.


[1] National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2020). Drug Use and Viral Infections (HIV, Hepatitis) DrugFacts. Retrieved from

[2] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021). HIV and Injection Drug Use. Retrieved from

[3] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2019). Summary of Information on The Safety and Effectiveness of Syringe Services Programs (SSPs). Retried from

[4] Abdul-Quader, A. S., Feelemyer, J., Modi, S., Stein, E. S., Briceno, A., Semaan, S., Horvath, T., Kennedy, G. E., & Des Jarlais, D. C. (2013). Effectiveness of structural-level needle/syringe programs to reduce HCV and HIV infection among people who inject drugs: a systematic review. AIDS and behavior, 17(9), 2878–2892.


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