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Syringe Exchange Program: An Effective Way To Reduce HIV?

By Sai , Dec 01, 2016 05:10 AM EST
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The urge to decline the surprising growth rates of HIV infection among white people who inject drugs has recently stalled, which, in turn, is considered to be one of the unpleasant side effects of the nation's epidemic abuse drug consumption. Accordingly, a new report from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found that the use of syringe or needle exchanges has contributed to significant drops in the rates of HIV among African-American and Latino drug users.

Syringe Exchange: Can It Lessen Or Worsen The Problems In HIV?

In one of his statements reported by CBS News, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention  Dr. Tom Frieden, has claimed that they have been working hard in stalling or reversing decades of progress on HIV transmission. It was found that the report has been released as the nation is facing an ongoing epidemic of opioid and heroin use that has led to an increase in drug overdose deaths, particularly among white people. The increase in drug abuse is also hampering efforts to slow diseases carried in the blood that can be spread when injection drug users share needles.

However, as per CNN News, despite the findings of the study, it has shown that the effect of syringe exchanges does not seem to appear to be as great among white drug users. More than 40 percent of all white drug users report that they share needles, about the same as a decade ago. Although HIV rates among white drug users fell by 27 percent between 2008 and 2014, they have remained relatively stable since then.

Meanwhile, director of the CDC's Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention Dr. Eugene McCray, had explained that it is still encouraging to see prevention efforts paying off in African-American and Latino communities. Dr. McCray has further called for an urgent action of taking concrete steps that aims to build upon and accelerate that progress; as HIV risk is found to have remained too high for people who generally inject drugs.

Ultimately, it was found that needle exchange programs have been allegedly giving out clean syringe needles in exchange for used ones. Medical experts have found that such programs cut down transmission of HIV and do not cause increases in drug use.

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