The effectiveness of needle exchange programs in the United States and West Virginia

Needle Exchange Programs (NEPs) have been controversial aspects of public health care due to conflicting beliefs and opinions for public policies. NEPs have allowed Injection Drug Users the ability to exchange their used equipment for clean, unused supplies. Research into the effectiveness of needle exchange programs and the impact it has had on the reduction of HIV and viral hepatitis infections in people who inject drugs. Injection Drug Users have accounted for 10% of HIV transmission cases in West Virginia, and this state has been ranked as the highest in the whole United States for incidents of Hepatitis C. NEPs have had success at decreasing the number of individuals sharing syringes and spreading diseases. Because NEPs are recent initiatives, further research is needed to determine their full effect on lowering the rate of infection spread.