The Issue

Safe and legal access to clean syringes reduces the spread of HIV and Hepatitis C. Denying access to clean syringes does not prevent drug use. It exacerbates its consequences. Providing wide access to clean syringes is part of reducing the harms of drug use. It is also a humane and healthy policy. 

Current Initiatives

  • Supporting the recommendations of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Ending the Epidemic Taskforce
  • Advocating for laws and policies that decriminalize syringes and expand access to safe clean syringes in New York state

Policy Recommendations

  • Clean syringe distribution: Health care professionals and pharmacies should be permitted to distribute clean syringes to people who use them for any purpose.
  • No criminalizing syringe possession: There should be no criminal or civil penalties for possessing clean or dirty syringes. These penalties discourage the safe use of clean needles.
  • More needle exchange programs: Needle exchange programs that allow people to exchange dirty syringes for clean ones should be expanded. Restrictions on needle exchange funding and access should be lifted immediately to save lives.

 News and Highlights 

View all “Syringe Access” articles in our Newsroom.

Learn More

To learn more about this issue, see our HIV Resources.

To learn more about LAC’s impact, see our Accomplishments.

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