5 statistics on HIV prevention and syringe services programs

Syringe services programs provide people who inject drugs with safe access to sterilized needles, treatment referrals for individuals infected with viruses associated with intravenous drug use, overdose education and other preventative treatments.

The CDC allows certain state and local prevention programs to launch SSPs. These programs can help reduce the rate of HIV transmission among individuals who inject drugs, according the agency.

Here are five things to know.

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1. Ten percent of HIV diagnoses are among individuals who inject drugs, according to a CDC Vital Signs report.

2. Heroin use increased by 60 percent from 2002 to 2013, according to a CDC national survey on drug use and health.

3. While annual HIV diagnoses among intravenous drug users decreased by 48 percent overall from 2008 to 2014, the steadily rising rates of heroin use could eventually compromise this progress, according to the report.

4. Only 25 percent of individuals who inject drugs obtained their needles from sterile sources in 2015.

5. There is no evidence that SSPs increase illegal drug use or crime, but they have been proven to reduce rates of HIV transmission, according to the report.

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