Increase in injection drug use has been closely linked with opioid misuse and related harms, especially HCV infection and drug overdose. HIV is also readily transmitted through unsafe injection practices and increasing opioid injections use can lead to significant increase in new HIV infections. As we address opioids in our local communities, we should also consider how communities may be affected by related issues like hepatitis B and C. For more information on local hepatitis testing and education, go to www.hepfreehawaii.org.
Hawai’i Health & Harm Reduction Center’s Syringe Exchange Program (SEP) exchanges sterile needles for used ones for people who use needles to inject drugs, steroids, hormones, or other substances. Our syringe exchange is one of the oldest in the United States, and Hawaii’s relatively low prevalence of HIV can be attributed to the SEP’s longstanding presence in our community. Learn more at hhhrc.org/sep.