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    Lakewood, CO 80215

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    Jefferson County Public Health Becomes the Newest Approved Syringe Access Program in Colorado


    Jefferson County Public Health opened the newest approved syringe exchange program in Colorado joining locations in Boulder County, Denver Metro, Fort Collins, Pueblo and Grand Junction.

    The new program, named Points West, is a harm reduction program committed to stopping the spread of HIV and Hepatitis C among people who inject drugs in Jefferson County. Points West is located at the Jefferson County Public Health clinic, 645 Parfet Street in Lakewood. Syringe exchange services are available Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM- 5:00 PM. No appointment is necessary and services are free and confidential to all participants of the program.

    In an effort to decrease HIV, Hepatitis B and C transmission, and to better address the needs of people who inject drugs, Jefferson County Public Health started the syringe access program back in February of this year. Points West Syringe Access Program is a harm reduction program that allows people who inject drugs to exchange used syringes for new sterile ones. It also provides new injection equipment, free HIV and Hepatitis C testing, education and counseling, referrals to treatment and other vital services, and safe disposal of used syringes. Through harm reduction principles, staff members meet the client ‘where they are at’ and work to decrease harm associated with injection drug use, in a safe, judgment-free environment.

    Points West staff also link participants to other Jefferson County Public Health clinic services such as immunizations, family planning, and STD testing and treatment. The program aims to provide people who inject drugs with referrals to drug rehabilitation treatment and resources that can help with case management, mental health, overdose prevention and referral for partner notification.

    National data shows evidence that syringe exchange programs promote changes in injection and drug-related behavior among people who inject, thereby reducing the risk of transmission of HIV, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C to others. Syringe Access programs have also been proven to reduce the frequency of skin and systemic infections related to injecting drugs through wound care services as well provide clients with overdose prevention education. These strategies increase the disposal of used injection equipment and syringes, helping to protect law enforcement, children, and the entire community.

    Syringe Access Programs are supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO), and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

    For more information about Points West Syringe Access Program call the Jefferson County Public Health department at 303.232.6301.

    Tony Aaron Fuller
    Public Engagement Coordinator
    303-239-7059
    tfuller@jeffco.us

    August 30, 2016

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    Last Updated: 8-30-2016