needle exchange programs

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A system operated by public health authorities or voluntary agencies in many communities with the aim of reducing the risk of transmitting blood-borne infectious diseases, especially HIV/AIDS, by providing clean sterile hypodermic needles to illicit intravenous drug users on a no-questions-asked basis. This approach acknowledges the existence of illicit drug use, is not judgmental or punitive, and can provide a way to gain the confidence of illicit drug users as a preliminary step toward their rehabilitation.

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology.

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