Syringe exchange program helps stop spread of HIV, hepatitis

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Syringe exchange programs do more than just provide clean needles for intravenous drug users.

According to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study, between 2013 and 2017 syringe programs offered in the Appalachian regions of North Carolina, West Virginia, and Kentucky helped stop the spread of HIV and hepatitis, and increased the chance a person will seek substance abuse treatment.

Robert Childs with the North Carolina Harm Reduction Coalition was in the WECT studio Thursday to discuss syringe service programs on the 4:30 p.m. edition of News Now.

"A lot of the people that we see aren't getting services and also don't know that there are services in their backyard," Childs said. "We try to get them linked to care.

"One of the things they do that is most vital is connect people to drug treatment and connecting people to mental health care."

For more information on the NC Harm Reduction Coalition, click here.

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