Purpose Of Needle Exchange Programs Essay

962 words - 4 pages

The main purpose of needle exchange programs are based on that idea that access to sterile needles will significantly reduce needle sharing and will in turn reduce HIV transmission. It is also believed that implementing needle exchange programs will allow more opportunities for other forms of HIV prevention education to come about and increase people’s access to HIV treatment services. These exchange programs have opened up plenty of things that work to help reduce the spreading HIV such as the use of condoms, bleach kits, and giving people referrals. These programs came about because there is the growing knowledge that people who are not ready for drug treatment and who use many different types of drugs through the use of needles, is causing more and more people to get infected with HIV and is not helping the programs that are used to reduce the spread of HIV. Needle Exchange programs offer free new sterile needles in exchange for old used ones that are collected from injection drug users (Health News).
Two main arguments for needle exchange programs include that the needle exchange would help prevent the spread of disease and that they are key to fighting HIV and in turn saving lives. Since, the needle exchange programs don’t really force people to get off the substance they are abusing, a lot of users will actually choose to do the treatment programs on their own because they don’t feel pressured into doing so. Not only do the needle exchange programs supply sterile needles they also supply counseling and therapy for those that not only want some help in the guidance of getting off their substance, but mental and life assistance to help them to reestablish their lives. By doing so the previously addicted can reestablish relationships with people who they were friends with when they were sober. By allowing drug users to have access to sterile syringes, it keeps all the used ones of the streets where homeless and other drug users can’t get them; so, that it lessens the impact of the spread of the drug and the possible diseases (Overcoming).
Some arguments that are against the needle exchange programs are that despite the effort made by these programs HIV transmission has still been on the rise. Also, that the sterile needle exchange isn’t the cure all in the spread of such diseases because there are many other ways HIV can be transmitted. According to this source HIV transmission has doubled in the past five years for teenagers. Data by a Doctor as stated in the article has shown that hepatitis prevalence in drug users that inject is at 65% with the free sterile needle exchange and continues to increase despite that the needle exchange programs say that the usage would decrease. The HIV virus can also be transmitted through the mixing water for heroin (The International Education Association). HIV can also be transmitted through...

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