There are 100,000 fewer chances to come into contact with a discarded syringe, thanks to The Exchange Project – a partnership between the Cincinnati Health Department, Hamilton County Public Health, Interact for Health and the UC College of Medicine. This week, the program passed the 100,000 mark for number of syringes exchanged since the program began January 3, 2018.
“That’s 100,000 fewer opportunities for accidental needle sticks to first responders, children or others who may come across these hazards,” says Hamilton County Health Commissioner, Tim Ingram. “In addition, this represents 100,000 fewer opportunities for spreading bloodborne infections like HIV and hepatitis.”
Dr. Marilyn Crumpton, interim Health Commissioner at the Cincinnati Health Department says the number of exchanged syringes highlights the need. “We have been collaborating with Hamilton County Public Health on the Exchange Project since the first of the year,” she says. “Exchanging this number of syringes in the first quarter of operation clearly indicates the need that exists for this service.”
The Exchange Project is a component of a comprehensive bloodborne infectious disease prevention program designed to help prevent the spread of infectious diseases like HIV and Hepatitis among IV drug users. Rates for both of these diseases have been rising in Hamilton County, largely due to the sharing of syringes between users.
The Exchange Project includes:
- Education about overdose prevention, communicable disease and injection safety;
- Testing and referral to treatment for communicable diseases such as hepatitis, HIV and sexually transmitted infections, and pregnancy testing;
- Referral to substance abuse disorder treatment programs, as well as to medical, mental health and social services;
- Safe disposal of injection equipment;
- Access to sterile injection equipment to fight the spread of disease;
- Provision of naloxone, the overdose-reversing drug.
The Exchange Project is currently operating at five locations in the area:
- Mondays – 2-5 p.m.; 1670 Cooper St., Northside
- Tuesdays – 1-4 p.m.; 400 block of Crawford St., Middletown
- Wednesdays – 2-5 p.m.; 65 E. Hollister St., Mt. Auburn
- Thursdays – 10 a.m.-1 p.m.; Clermont Mercy Hospital and;
- Thursdays — 2:30-5:30 p.m.at Hamilton County Public Health, 250 Wm. Howard Taft, Corryville.
For more information on the Bloodborne Infectious Disease Prevention Program, visit The Exchange Project on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/hc.xchange; follow on Twitter at https://twitter.com/hc_xchange; or visit www.hcph.org.
Contact: Mike Samet
Public Information Officer
Posted by: Mike Samet