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How to clean a used syringe

Substance abuse treatment and access to sterile syringes are essential components of HIV prevention among injection drug users.

Harm Reduction: A Guide to Cleaning Used Syringes

  • Pharmacies
  • Physician prescription
  • Syringe Exchange Programs

A Disinfected Syringe is NOT a Sterile Syringe If it is done carefully and thoroughly, disinfection can reduce the amount of live HIV, HBV, and HCV in a syringe.

However, even the best disinfection procedure cannot guarantee that all viruses have been killed. The plastic syringes usually used by IDUs are designed for one-time use. They are not designed to be cleaned and used again.

Disinfected syringes do NOT meet the standards that are applied in all other settings in which people use syringes (such as hospitals, other health care settings, and insulin injections by people with diabetes). In these settings, people must use a new, sterile syringe for every injection.

For these reasons, a disinfected syringe is NOT as safe as a new, sterile syringe. Recommendations about disinfecting syringes with bleach or others agents apply ONLY to situations in which IDUs do not have sterile syringes.

Substance abuse treatment and access to sterile syringes through pharmacies, physician prescription, and syringe exchange programs are essential components of HIV prevention efforts among injection drug users. 

Needle Exchange Program

Clean Syringe Access Locations

NASEN is dedicated to the creation, expansion and continued existence of syringe exchange programs as a proven method of stopping the transmission of blood-borne pathogens in the injecting drug using community.

The following is a list by state/province/territory of those syringe exchange programs in North America that have given us permission to make their contact information public. This is not a definitive list of all syringe exchange programs.

AK | AZ | CA | CO | CT | DC | DE | FL | GA | HI | IL | IN | LA | MA | MD | ME | MI | MN | MO | MT | NC | NE | NJ | NM | NY | OH | OR | PA | PR | RI | VT | WA | WI



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