Entering Leg 2 of syringe exchange triathlon

With law enacted, implementation adheres to prescribed steps

Indiana is about to legalize syringe exchange. This herculean bipartisan effort, led by Rep. Ed Clere, R-New Albany, enacted evidence-based public health policy in a state with a long-starved public health system.

As triathlons go, the syringe exchange legislative process was a tough first leg that will be followed by a second leg of policy implementation and a final leg of impact evaluation. We are now at T1 – that transition between Legs 1 and 2. And Leg 2 will be challenging.

Syringe exchange is part of a comprehensive public health effort to reduce HIV and hepatitis C among drug-injecting populations. Programs “exchange” sterile for used syringes, and link participants to screening and treatment for Hepatitis C and HIV, as well as substance abuse treatment. Studies over the past 30 years have demonstrated their effectiveness at reducing hepatitis C and HIV.


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