HIV diagnosis and prevalence among people who inject drugs has increased alarmingly in recent years. Syringe services programs (SSPs) are both economic and highly effective in reducing HIV transmission and critical to the success of the “Ending the HIV Epidemic” initiative. An in-depth literature review was conducted to assess how critical a role SSPs play in addressing this growing concern. This review concluded SSPs “have the highest impact in HIV prevention when combined with access to medications for substance use disorder and antiretroviral therapy.” SSPs that provide restriction free services and expand access to harm-reduction and further clinical services (i.e. peer outreach) are even more effective. Authors note that geographic and service coverage of SSPs or similar programs is still limited in the US and increasing this coverage requires funding, strong & sustainable policy, and community support. Furthermore, authors note SSPs are vital to all 4 strategies of the Ending the HIV Epidemic Initiative: Prevent, Diagnose, Treat, and Respond and thus critical to disease prevention efforts.
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