People who inject drugs (PWID) are at risk for Hepatitis B virus (HBV), Hepatitis C virus (HCV), and HIV infection through the sharing of needles and drug-preparation equipment. The risk of getting and transmitting HIV, viral hepatitis, and other blood-borne infections can be substantially reduced by using a sterile needle and syringe for every injection. Community-based syringe services programs, which can provide access to sterile needles and syringes and facilitate their safe disposal are part of a comprehensive, integrated approach to preventing viral hepatitis and HIV infections among PWID.
As Dr. Richard Wolitski shared in a recent blog post, last month the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued implementation guidance [PDF 977 KB] to state, local, tribal, and territorial health departments that will allow them to request permission to use federal funds to support syringe services programs (SSPs). The HHS guidance describes how health departments can request to use federal funds to start or expand SSPs in order to prevent new HIV and viral hepatitis infections. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is holding a webinar on Wednesday, April 27, to provide additional information to health departments about this process. Below is information from CDC about that webinar:
On March 29, 2016, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued implementation guidance to ensure that state and local communities are aware of the circumstances under which federal funds may be used to support certain components of Syringe Services Programs (SSPs) for persons who inject drugs (PWID). This guidance follows The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016 (Pub. L. 114-113), which President Obama signed into law in December. In order to direct existing grant funding to SSPs, state, local, territorial, and tribal health departments must first consult with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and provide evidence that their jurisdiction is (1) experiencing or, (2) at risk for significant increases in viral hepatitis infections or an HIV outbreak due to injection drug use.
CDC is hosting a webinar Wednesday, April 27, from 2:00–4:00 pm (EDT). Gabriela Paz-Bailey, Dita Broz, and John Brooks from the CDC’s Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention will walk participants through the process of requesting a determination of need for SSPs in consultation with CDC. They will provide practical information and tips for preparing these requests as well as address questions. This webinar will be especially useful for HIV, viral hepatitis, injury and/or substance abuse prevention surveillance and program staff within health departments. Please plan to participate in this webinar if interested in requesting a determination of need for SSPs within a jurisdiction. For those unable to participate in the live session, a recording will be posted on http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/risk/syringes.html.
Register here for the Requesting a Determination of Need in Consultation with CDC Webinar.
Read more about SSPs and the guidance.