A proven practice to reduce the spread of hepatitis C, HIV and blood-borne disease
On March 24, 2015, the Kentucky General Assembly gave municipalities authority to institute a needle exchange program.
What is a needle exchange?
- A public health program for people who are injecting drug users (IDUs)
- Senate Bill 192 was passed to allow local health departments to give clean needles to IDUs in exchange for their used needles, with no criminal penalty for the drug users
- Proven to reduce the spread of hepatitis C, HIV and other blood-borne infections
- Provides new, sterile syringes and clean injection equipment
- Properly disposes of contaminated syringes
Why is a needle exchange program important for IDUs?
- Safe disposal of used needles
- Free confidential testing for HIV (optional)
- Education about the harms associated with drug use and how to minimize them
- Counseling and treatment
Location and hours of operation:
- Hours of operation: 1-4 p.m. Mondays, 3-6:30 p.m. Wednesdays and 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Fridays
- Lexington-Fayette County Health Department, 650 Newtown Pike, Dr. Rice C. Leach Community Room
NOTE: We will not accept needles from patients with diabetes. We realize the need for these patients to dispose of their used needles and have learned from the city that these needles can be put in the regular trash if they are sealed in a heavy plastic or metal container such as a coffee can or similar plastic container. Click here to find out more about the Lexington-Fayette County Urban Government Solid Waste guidelines regarding disposal of “other items” including medical waste. We urge patients who need to dispose of needles used for insulin to do so according to acceptable city procedures.
- Needle Exchange Program Resource Guide
- KRS 218A.500
- Safe Options for Home Needle Disposal
- The Foundation on AIDS Research Fact Sheet
- Participants Rights and Responsibilities
- “Little Victories: Lexington, Kentucky”: a short documentary film by Katherine Tackett that puts a human face on the opioid crisis in the community.
For more information about the needle exchange program, call (859) 899-4230.