Needle and Syringe Exchange Program Overview

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Needle and Syringe Exchange Programs 

Needle and Syringe Exchange Programs (NSEPs) use a harm reduction approach, which recognises that in society, individuals will continue to use drugs. 

Administering drugs through injection is associated with a high risk of vblood-borne virus transmission and severe bacterial infections. 

While the practise of injecting drugs continues, the provision of sterile injecting equipment through NSEP is an important harm reduction strategy to reduce the spread of blood-borne viruses such as heaptitis b, hepatitis C and HIV. 

WA AIDS Council's NSEP

Since 1987, the WA AIDS Council has assisted in the prevention of blood-borne virus transmission through the operation of of an NSEP. The service has seen a significant increase in both client contacts and exchange of equipment since the programs implementation. 

On average, the WA AIDS Council's NSEP has had close to 12,000 client interactions and distributes almost 2 million pieces of sterile equipment, with an average 98% return rate across all site each year. 

What We Provide 

The WA AIDS Council's NSEP service operates at two fixed sites and several mobile sites, ranging from Joondalup to Rockingham. 

The program provides a large range of anonymous and non-judgemental services to individuals who inject drugs, including access to a wide range of sterile injecting and disposal equipment (which are free on exchange or at a low cost), safe disposal of used injecting equipment, as well as safer sex equipment, user-friendly advice, health information and referral services.

NSEP staff and volunteers are trained to deliver relevant health education and provide referrals to a range of services including detox and treatment if required. NSEPs act as important points of contact to the highly marginilised and stigmatised population of injecting drug users who may not otherwise access medical and health services. 

NEW April 2020 : Postal Service

Due to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic the WAAC NSEP service will now be offering a postal service for clients in the Perth metropolitan area, as well as those in remote and regional
Western Australia. This service allows customers to access to sterile injecting equipment at no cost, with no exchange. Standard NSEP prices will be charged for harm reduction equipment
such as tourniquets and sterile injecting water. No used equipment is to be returned to the service by mail.

Orders will be dispatched within 48 hours of order confirmation (or payment received).

All payments will have to be made by credit or debit cards until further notice.

See here for more info about our postal service. 

Cost Effectiveness 

In 2009, the Australian Government Department of health and Ageing published the Return on Investment in Needle and Syringe Programs in Australia, which found a saving of $124m in healthcare costs, a net financial saving of $111m and a saving of more than 19,000 Disability Adjusted Life Years. 

The cost effectiveness of NSEPs, combined with the positive impact on communities, has continually been recognised worldwide. NSEPs are supported by political parties, the Australian Medical Association and police departments across Australia. 

For more information on exchange, disposal and referral services, contact: 

WA AIDS Council
(08) 9482 0000
664 Murray Street, West Perth 

Freo XChange
(08) 9431 3318
Fremantle Hospital, Block A, 65 South Terrace

0417 093 537
Visits Armadale, Belmont, Gosnells, Joondlaup, Midland, Mirrabooka and Rockingham 
Click here for the full timetable or go to the WAAC Van Facebook page for regular updates 



Our Mission

To minimise the impact and further transmission of HIV, other blood borne viruses and sexually transmissible infections. To reduce social, legal and policy barriers which prevent access to health information and effective support and prevention services.

WA AIDS Council would like to acknowledge the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as the Traditional Custodians of this country throughout Australia, and their strength, resilience and connection to land and community. In particular, the WA AIDS Council would like to acknowledge the Wadjuk people of the Noongar Nation as the traditional custodians of the land in which our office is located.


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