People Who Use Injection Drugs
Care | Prevent | Educate | Engage

Needle Exchange

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The Needle Exchange program aims to protect public safety and community health by reducing the spread of HIV and Hepatitis C due to people sharing syringes. The program works to keep sterile syringes accessible so that those who inject drugs or hormones do not feel a need to share their syringes and risk becoming infected with HIV, HCV, or another blood borne disease.

Syringe Exchange for Injection Drug Users

We provide syringe exchange services to injection drug users. We provide new needles and accept used syringes for disposal. We are a one for one exchange and have safer injection kits available for clients who don’t have used needles to exchange. We provide sharps containers and safer injection supplies as funding allows, including alcohol wipes, cottons and bandaids. We have a wound care doctor available (on these days) and we are providing overdose prevention kits (on these days).

Exchange Locations

Lane County (1195 City View St.):

Eugene Office – 1195 City View St. 97402

Springfield – S. 18th and A (click here for a map of our new location)

Blair – end of Blair St.

Day Time Location
Monday 6pm-7:30pm Blair
Tuesday 11am-1pm Office
Wednesday 6pm-7:30pm Blair
Thursday 6pm-7:30pm Springfield
Friday 1pm-5pm Office

Roseburg (647 W. Luellen Dr, Suite 103):

Day Time Location
Monday 11am-3:30pm Office
Tuesday 11am-3:30pm Office
Wednesday 11am-3:30pm Office
Thursday 11am-3:30pm Office
Friday 11am-2:30pm Office

Josephine (Newman’s Church):

1st and 3rd  Thursdays                     Testing                 1:30-3:30pm                 NEX                        12-3pm

The mission of HIV Alliance’s Needle Exchange is to:
  • Stop the spread of HIV and Hepatitis C
  • Increase access to health care, drug treatment and detox for people who inject drugs (PWID)
  • Decrease the presence of contaminated syringes in the local community.
Our Approach to Treatment

We look to support the health of people who inject drugs, as well as their families and sexual partners. Many find that quitting drugs improves their lives, BUT, this does not work for everyone, and it is an individual decision. We do not push people to get into treatment. We help those who choose to do so by giving referrals, advocacy, and counseling on the issue. All services are confidential.

Syringe Exchange for Hormone Injectors
We provide syringe exchange services to people in the Transgender Community who inject hormones. We provide needles and syringes most commonly used to inject hormones and accept used syringes for disposal. We also provide sharps containers and safer injection supplies as funding allows, including alcohol wipes and bandaids. Trans NEX happens on the last Wednesday of every month from 5-8pm at the Wayward Lamb during the We/Us/Ours social hour put on by Transponder. Free HIV testing is available.

Trans syringe exchange is available every last Wednesdays of the month from 5-8pm at the Wayward Lamb, 150 W Broadway, Eugene, OR 97401

Syringe Exchange for Injection Drug Users

We provide syringe exchange services to injection drug users. We provide new needles and accept used syringes for disposal. We are a one for one exchange and have safer injection kits available for clients who don’t have used needles to exchange. We provide sharps containers and safer injection supplies as funding allows, including alcohol wipes, cottons and bandaids. We have a wound care doctor available (on these days) and we are providing overdose prevention kits (on these days).

Exchange Locations

Lane County (1195 City View St.):

Eugene Office – 1195 City View St. 97402

Springfield – S. 18th and A

Blair – end of Blair St.

Day Time Location
Monday 6pm-7:30pm Blair
Tuesday 11am-1pm Office
Wednesday 6pm-7:30pm Blair
Thursday 6pm-7:30pm Springfield
Friday 1pm-5pm Office

Roseburg (647 W. Luellen Dr, Suite 103):

Day Time Location
Monday 11am-3:30pm Office
Tuesday 11am-3:30pm Office
Wednesday 11am-3:30pm Office
Thursday 11am-3:30pm Office
Friday 11am-2:30pm Office

Josephine (Newman’s Church):

1st and 3rd  Thursdays                     Testing                 1:30-3:30pm                 NEX                        12-3pm

HIV Alliance is the only agency providing comprehensive syringe exchange programs in Lane, Douglas, and Josephine Counties, but we need your help to continue doing so. Please consider making a small donation today. With each dollar, we are able to purchase 10 new syringes. It truly makes a differenceClick here to make a difference today!

Philosophy of Harm Reduction

harm reduction philosophy

Harm Reduction is a public health philosophy that seeks to empower individuals, remove barriers to accessing the support that they need, and supply pragmatic approaches to risk reduction in a non-judgmental/non-coercive way that is compassionate and accepting of any positive change.  Harm Reduction supports a wide spectrum of strategies from doing the behavior more safely, to limiting certain behaviors, to abstinence.

Principles of Harm Reduction include:

  • Meeting the client where they are, using programs designed for the community being served.
  • Non-judgmental and non-coercive services are provided to clients in the communities and places where they are comfortable and safe in order to empower them to reduce the attendant harm.
  • Accepts that drug use is part of our world and chooses to work to minimize its harmful effects on the people using drugs, rather than ignore or condemn those individuals.
  • Understands that drug use and behavior change are complex and multifaceted. They include a continuum of behaviors from severe abuse to total abstinence.
  • It acknowledges that some drug use methods are safer than others, and respects each individual’s drug use choices.
  • Ensures that people who inject drugs and those with a history of drug use routinely have a real voice in the creation of programs and policies designed to serve them.
  • Affirms that people who inject drugs are the primary agents responsible for reducing the harm from their drug use, and seeks to empower them to support each other and share information.
  • Recognizes that the realities of poverty, class, racism, social isolation, past trauma, sex-based discrimination and other social inequities affect both people’s vulnerability to and capacity for dealing with drug-related harm.
  • Does not attempt to minimize or ignore the real or tragic harm and dangers associated with licit and illicit drug use.

 Despite evidence from many studies that syringe exchange programs are highly cost-effective ways to prevent HIV and have not been found to increase drug use, harm reduction programs continue to be heavily contested here in the US and around the world. On a global basis, about $100 billion is spent annually on the war on drugs. Research by Harm Reduction International indicates that if even as little as 7.5% of this $100 billion is redirected to harm reduction programs, by 2030 there would be 94% fewer new HIV infections among people who inject drugs. HIV Alliance is the only agency providing comprehensive syringe exchange programs in Lane, Douglas, and Josephine Counties, but we need your help to continue doing so. Please consider making a small donation today. With each dollar, we are able to purchase 10 new syringes. It truly makes a difference. Click here and be the difference!

Harm Reduction Coalition

Harm Reduction Coalition

The Harm Reduction Coalition is a quarterly meeting discussing health and wellness of people who inject drugs.  The Coalition’s goals include:

  • Increase provider and community awareness about issues facing people who inject drugs
  • Engage people who inject drugs in their care and wellness
  • Promote principles of Harm Reduction

For more information or to attend a meeting contact the Prevention Manager at 541.342.5088.

 

 

Hepatitis (HCV) Community Health Program

CHW

The HCV Community Health Program at HIV Alliance is designed to help people living with HCV in Lane County to stabilize and maintain their health through support, advocacy, referral services, and emergency financial assistance.  Clients struggling to meet basic needs can work with our Community Health Worker to access transportation and nutrition assistance.

In September 2014, we began a partnership with Food For Lane County to insure that our HCV clients are receiving healthy food on a regular basis.

 

Hepatitis (HCV) FAQs

HCV3

  • HCV was officially identified in 1989
  • There are 6 different genotypes of HCV; 75% of people w/HCV have Genotype 1, which is the hardest one to treat
  • The most common and severe symptom of HCV is fatigue.
  • There is no correlation between a person’s health and the concentration (viral load) of the HCV the person has (in terms of the health of the liver).
  • Sexual transmission is low-risk for transmitting HCV because it is transmitted from blood to blood.
  • There is some controversy about the risk associated with sexual transmission of HCV because many people who believe they acquired the disease through sexual activity also had other risk factors for acquiring HCV, such as intravenous drug use.
  • It is estimated that the risk of an HCV positive mother passing the virus on to her baby at birth is about 3-5%.  These numbers are only estimates, however, because many studies of HCV do not include people in prisons or the homeless.
  • When a person first contracts HCV they need to limit their fat intake.  When the disease is more progressed they need to limit protein intake because the liver develops problems with processing protein.
  • HCV puts a person at increased risk for acquiring liver cancer.
  • About one quarter of HIV-infected persons in the United States are also infected with HCV. Those that contracted HIV through injection drug use have a co-infection rate between 50-90%.
  • HCV is one of the most important causes of chronic liver disease in the United States and liver damage resulting from HCV infection progresses more rapidly in HIV-infected persons. HCV infection may also impact the course and management of HIV infection.
  • HCV lives longer outside the body than HIV, and is infectious for at least 16 hours and up to 4 days. If you are protecting yourself against HCV, you are also protecting yourself against HIV.

 

Hepatitis C (HCV) Testing

HCV Testing

HIV Alliance offers FREE, confidential OraQuick Rapid Tests (results in 20 minutes).

This means that we administer a quick finger prick blood test with quick and accurate results.

We are currently able to test people in populations with a high prevalence of HCV. We recommend that high-risk populations test for HCV every 6 weeks.

High-risk populations include:

  • People who inject drugs (PWID) 
  • People who had tattoos or body piercings in an unclean environment using unsterile equipment.
  • People who worked in a place where you came in contact with infected blood or needles, for example, healthcare worker.
  • People who have received a blood transfusion or organ transplant before July 1992.
  • People with HIV or other STIs.
  • People who live with or are partners of people with HCV.
  • People born between 1945 – 1965.

We are also able to test those who are not considered “at-risk” on Mondays.

Those who do not fit into the high risk categories are welcome to come in 5-7 pm on Mondays.  

For more information on testing days and times please visit our testing calendar.

 

Hepatitis C (HCV) Treatment

HCV2

The better you take care of yourself, the slower that the damage to the liver. On average, it takes 20 years to develop symptoms for chronic HCV. With alcohol or HIV, the average number drops to 7 years. So whether or not medicine is available, taking better care of your body will help.

There are 6 HCV genotypes. Treatment success is dependent on genotype and has a 40 – 80% chance of being successful. All genotypes result in the same level of liver damage.

Side effects of medicine include flu-like symptoms, muscle and joint pain, nausea, headaches, loss of appetite, dry skin anxiety, insomnia, and depression. They vary greatly in number and severity based on the person.

 

Hepatitis C Virus (HCV)

HCV1

Hepatitis C (HCV) is a virus that is transmitted by blood only.   The word Hepatitis literally means “inflammation of the liver.”  Hepatitis can be caused by viruses (such as Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C), or by drugs, medicine, alcohol, toxins, autoimmune disease, and bacteria.  The liver itself performs over 500 bodily functions and when damaged can impact the functioning and health of other organs in the body.  Complications of long term liver disease include:

  • Impotence
  • Fatigue
  • Pressure in spleen & intestines
  • Weakened blood vessels in esophagus & stomach
  • Fluid accumulation in the abdomen
  • Fluid build-up in the feet & ankles
  • Toxin-related impaired cognitive function

 

Hepatitis C Virus (HCV)

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  • “Hepatitis” literally means “inflammation of the liver”
  • HCV Is a blood-borne virus, transmitted blood-to-blood, that damages the liver
  • The liver is a vital organ with over 500 functions – we cannot live without a liver.  It is a “non-complaining” organ –  it has no nerve endings to feel pain due to damage or injury
  • The most common way that HCV is transmitted is through sharing injection drug equipment like syringes; it can also be transmitted through contaminated instruments used in tattooing or piercing, or through sharing personal care items like razors, tweezers, clippers and toothbrushes.
  • HCV can be sexually transmitted but the risk is considered to be low
  • HCV is a hearty virus and can live up to 4 days on a surface like a table, and can live up to 63 days inside a syringe
  • Approximately 20% of people who have Hep C have the acute type which presents with symptoms like a severe flu but resolves itself within 6 months; the remaining 80% have chronic Hepatitis C which generally has no symptoms and people can have it for 20-30 years without knowing it
  • Approximately 3-5% of HCV infected mothers pass on the virus to their babies
  • Hepatitis A, B and C are completely separate viruses and are only found in humans.  There are vaccines for Hepatitis A and B
  • There is no vaccine for Hepatitis C
  • There are new drugs like Sovaldi and Olysio that can cure Hepatitis C but they are still very expensive and not available to everyone – consult your doctor

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