Through our syringe access program, injection drug users trade their used equipment (dirty syringes) for clean equipment. Used syringes are disposed of in accordance with established biohazardous waste standards.
Our syringe access program currently has several times/locations per week and is one of the nation's largest, providing more than 2.3 million clean syringes a year. The program is made possible by more than 80 volunteers. We have provided street-based syringe access services to injecting drug users (IDUs) since 1993.
Not only does the syringe access program provide safer injection supplies, it also offers services such as HIV testing, drug treatment referrals and medical care.
It's true, our syringe access program, then known as "needle exchange" once inspired the mayor of San Francisco to declare an ongoing public health state of emergency. Read about it in our special article "History of Health: Needle Exchange in San Francisco."