Earlier this week, nearly 10,000 pieces of used injecting equipment were received for safe disposal, at our Fremantle mobile site providing Needle and Syringe Exchange Program (NSEP) services. This is the largest ever received at this location. Our service offers sterile injecting equipment for free, in exchange for used drug injecting equipment, in order to keep the community safe from needle stick injury, and to reduce the risk of blood borne viruses. Sharing a used needle or other injecting equipment is one of the most effective methods of transmitting blood borne viruses, such as HIV and Hepatitis C, and we are thrilled to be distributing such a huge amount of sterile equipment to those who need it.
Needle and Syringe Programs across Australia have prevented thousands of new infections among people who inject drugs and have in turn increased community safety. Statistics reported between 2000 - 2009 show that 32,050 new HIV infections and 96,667 new Hepatitis C infections were averted thanks to Needle and Syringe Programs. For every $1 spent on the program, $27 of taxpayer money is saved, and $36 are saved if you take into account DALYs (disability life adjusted years) which can be described as the years of potential life lost due to premature mortality and the years of productive life lost due to disability.