Up until recently, there was a ban of use of Federal funds for syringe exchange. Syringe exchange is the most effective viral hepatitis prevention intervention.
The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016, passed by the US Senate and House of Representatives, has eased restrictions on federal funding for elements of syringe access programs.
For the first time, Federal funds provided to SEPs can be used for activities other than the purchase of syringes, such as HCV and HIV testing or linkage to care activities.
In addition, the ban on federal funding for the purchase of actual syringes can be waived if the relevant State or local health department, in consultation with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, determines that the State or local jurisdiction is experiencing a significant increase in hepatitis infections or an HIV outbreak due to injection drug use.
Here is the full language:
“Notwithstanding any other provision of this Act, no funds appropriated in this Act shall be used to purchase sterile needles or syringes for the hypodermic injection of any illegal drug: Provided, That such limitation does not apply to the use of funds for elements of a program other than making such purchases if the relevant State or local health department, in consultation with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, determines that the State or local jurisdiction, as applicable, is experiencing, or is at risk for, a significant increase in hepatitis infections or an HIV outbreak due to injection drug use, and such program is operating in accordance with State and local law.”
- Syringe Exchange Prevents Hep C. End the Federal Ban!
- NYC Health Commissioner Wrote Letter Supporting Federal Funding for Syringe Exchange
- To be more involved in this issue, join the Coalition for Syringe Access Effort