needle exchange program(redirected from Needle-exchange programme)
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needle exchange programAny program intended to slow the spread of AIDS (and hepatitis C) among IV drug abusers (IVDAs), in which a governmental or charitable agency exchanges sterile needles for dirty, potentially contaminated needles used by IVDAs when injecting (“shooting”) heroin or other substances.
needle exchange programSyringe exchange program Public health Any program intended to slow the spread of AIDS among IV drug users, in which a governmental or charitable agency exchanges sterile needles for dirty, potentially HIV-contaminated needles used by IVDAs when 'shooting' heroin or other substances. See Intravenous drug use, Safe injection room.
needle exchange program
Syringe-exchange programs not only reduce the spread of blood-borne illnesses but also serve as gateways to other vital medical services for patients at risk, e.g., drug abusers who want to stop, or pregnant women, the mentally ill, malnourished, or those who need vaccination. In its position statement on needle exchange and HIV/AIDS, the American Nursing Association states, “nurses support the availability of needle exchange programs (that) include adherence to public health and infection control guidelines, access for referral to treatment and rehabilitative services, and education about the transmission of HIV disease.” Health care professionals must be familiar with federal and state laws about needle exchange. Most programs operate by providing a single sterile needle for each contaminated needle brought in by a client. Contaminated needles brought to exchange programs are treated as biomedical waste products and are managed by these programs according to public health guidelines.