Tags: Health Topics | Las Vegas | needles | HIV | heroin

Las Vegas to Unveil Sterile Needle Vending Machines

Las Vegas to Unveil Sterile Needle Vending Machines
(AP Photo/Carla K. Johnson)

By    |   Thursday, 13 April 2017 08:38 PM

Las Vegas health officials have unveiled a first-in-the-nation experiment to use vending machines to dispense clean needles – and reduce infection rates among drug users.

According to NBC News, HIV transmission rates among needle users in Nevada's Clark County are higher than the national average, at 9 percent.

"Having access to clean syringes is a harm-reduction approach that's going to allow people to protect themselves against getting communicable diseases such as HIV and hepatitis C," said Chelsi Cheatom of Trac-B Exchange, which developed the machine, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.

The company worked in collaboration with the Southern Nevada Health District and the Nevada AIDS Research and Education Society to install the new machines, which will be available at three different locations by the end of May.

Each client will be limited to two kits a week; each box contains syringes, alcohol wipes, safe sex supplies, and a sharps disposal box.

Users will have to register first to receive a swipe card and ID number to get up to two kits a week, the Review-Journal reported.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heroin use among young people ages 18-25 has more than doubled over the past decade, NBC News reported.

Between 2002 and 2013, the rate of heroin overdose deaths more than quadrupled.

In January 2016, Congress ended a ban on federal funding to syringe exchange programs – partially in response to a 2015 HIV crisis in a small rural county in Indiana where nearly 200 people were diagnosed in relation to a "close network" of drug users sharing hard-to-find needles, NBC News reported.

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US
Las Vegas health officials have unveiled a first-in-the-nation experiment to use vending machines to dispense clean needles – and reduce infection rates among drug users.
Las Vegas, needles, HIV, heroin
268
2017-38-13
Thursday, 13 April 2017 08:38 PM
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