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News From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
January 26, 2016

Rethinking Syringe Exchange

JAMA. 2016;315(4):338. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.18869

Increased HIV and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections in rural and suburban areas with injected opioid and heroin epidemics may push health officials to rethink syringe exchange programs, a recent study suggests.

In decades past, trading drug users’ contaminated injection equipment for sterile needles and syringes contributed to drastic reductions in HIV infection among people who inject drugs. However, the same success hasn’t extended to the more recent wave of injection drug use.