This guidance makes recommendations on needle and syringe programmes, including those provided by pharmacies and drugs services for adults and young people (including those under 16) who inject drugs, including image- and performance-enhancing drugs.
The main aim of needle and syringe programmes is to reduce the transmission of blood-borne viruses and other infections caused by sharing injecting equipment, such as HIV, hepatitis B and C. In turn, this will reduce the prevalence of blood-borne viruses and bacterial infections, so benefiting wider society. Many needle and syringe programmes also aim to reduce the other harms caused by drug use.
The guidance is for directors of public health, commissioners, providers of needle and syringe programmes and related services, and those with a remit for infectious disease prevention. In addition, it may be of interest to members of the public.