Indiana University Bloomington

Indiana Prevention Resource Center (IPRC)

Needle Exchange Programs

The use of the same needle by multiple users has the potential to transmit blood-borne pathogens, which is a public health concern. The goal of Needle Exchange Programs (NEPs) is to provide sterile needles for used (and potentially contaminated) needles, with the intention of reducing the spread of diseases. The preponderance of evidence supports the notion that NEPs reduce infections, however, until recently in Indiana, these programs were not lawful. In April 2015, Governor Mike Pence declared a state of emergency, allowing counties to apply for state approval to allow NEPs to exist in their county. This research brief discusses the benefits of NEPs, the existing research, and Indiana’s specific relationship with them.

Needle Exchange Programs