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Experiences No 3: Needle and Syringe Exchange in Chengdu | Download
Keywords :IDU, injecting drug users, needle, needle exchange, syringe, clean needle exchange, clean needle programmes, chengdu, people who use drugs, people who inject drugs, PWID, PUD, NSP, MMT
Published by:UNAIDS, UNODC

From 2005 to 2009, Médecins du Monde (MdM), in partnership with Chengdu Municipal Centre for Disease Control (CDC), implemented an HIV/HCV prevention programme targeting injection drug users (IDUs). The programme strategy was based on the harm reduction (HR) model and was designed to contribute towards the prevention of HIV and hepatitis C (HCV) transmission in the IDU community. By 2007, two community drop-in centres (DICs) that distribute sterile injection materials and offer health services (i.e. basic wound care, psychological support, social activities, health education, and hygiene services) for IDUs were opened. These fixed needle and syringe exchange programme (NSP) sites also offer meeting spaces, rest areas and fully equipped washrooms within a 50sqm space.
In 2009, DIC activities continued with a special focus on working with a team of IDU peers who, with the support of the NSP/DICs, were able to establish a grassroots IDU organization named “San Ye Cao”.
With 28% of the IDU population having injected drugs for more than 10 years, a majority encounter a range of health problems. Clinical screening of IDUs within the DICs revealed that 64% of respondents require some form of medical treatment and care. It was also documented that many IDUs do not usually seek medical treatment due to various factors (e.g. stigma, financial costs) and often endure poor quality health, accepting this as normal. Many IDU have a history of underutilization of medical services.

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