Skip Navigation LinksOA_Prev_Reporting_Requirements_for_Syringe_Services_Programs_and_Health_Officers

office of aids

Reporting Requirements for Syringe Services Programs and Health Officers

As part of California's efforts to prevent the spread of HIV and other blood-borne diseases, California Health and Safety Code Section 121349 outlines two mechanisms by which syringe services programs (SSPs) may be authorized to operate. Each of these has different reporting requirements:

  1. SSPs may be authorized by county or city government; and/or
  2. Programs may be authorized by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) in any location where the department determines that the conditions exist for rapid spread of HIV, viral hepatitis, or other blood-borne diseases.

Additionally, California Business and Professions Code Section 4145 permits physicians and pharmacists to furnish or sell an unlimited number of hypodermic needles and syringes to adults aged 18 and older. There are no reporting requirements for physicians and pharmacists.

CDPH Authorized SSPs – Annual Report

Programs authorized by CDPH must follow requirements outlined in Health and Safety Code Section 121349 and California Code of Regulations (CCR), Title 17, Section 7016.

CCR, Title 17, Section 7016 states that all state authorized SSPs are required to submit an annual report to CDPH by the anniversary of the program's authorization date. The CDPH/Office of AIDS/Harm Reduction Unit will share a copy of the report with the health officer of the SSP's jurisdiction.

Health and Safety Code Section 121349(d)(4) and CCR, Section 7012(d)(2) define what information is required in the report:

  1. The total number of persons served,
  2. The total number of syringes and needles dispensed, collected and disposed of,
  3. The total numbers and types of referrals made to drug treatment and other services,
  4. A report on the events recorded under the community relations plan of the initial application which includes:
    • Adverse incidents and positive interactions between local law enforcement and SSP staff, volunteers, or participants,
    • Concerns and positive feedback expressed by program participants, community members, neighborhood associations and/or local law enforcement officials, and
    • Steps the program has taken to address any reasonable concerns.

Many programs also include additional information to paint a fuller picture of their work. These data often include:

  1. Number of overdose trainings, number of naloxone kits provided, and overdose reversals reported,
  2. Number of HIV and HCV tests provided, and
  3. Demographic information about the people served such as age, gender, ethnicity, housing status, drug use patterns, etc.

​​Reporting Requirements for SSPs Authorized by Local Governments

California law does not specify the reporting requirements of programs authorized by local governments. Programs should consult the Clerk of the local board of supervisors or city council that authorized the SSP to request a copy of the authorizing ordinance, resolution, or board order to determine if any reporting requirements were included in the authorization. Locally authorized programs are encouraged to communicate with the local health officer in the county to assist with the reporting requirements described below.

Local Health Officer Reporting Responsibilities

Health and Safety Code Section 121349.3 requires local health officers to present to the board of supervisors or city council once every two years on the status of any and all SSPs in the jurisdiction, regardless of whether the program is authorized by local government or by CDPH. Presentations must include but are not limited to:

  1. Relevant statistics on bloodborne infections associated with needle sharing activity, and
  2. The use of public funds for these programs.

For state authorized programs, the CDPH/Office of AIDS Harm Reduction Unit will provide the health officer a copy of the program's annual reports.

For locally authorized programs, the presentation shall be made to either the county board of supervisors or the city council, whichever is the authorizing body.

Board of Supervisors / City Council Presentation

Health and Safety Code Section 121349.3 states that the presentation must include, but not be limited to, relevant statistics on bloodborne infections associated with needle sharing activity and the use of public funds for these programs. Health officers often include additional information to help educate and inform the public, law enforcement and local policy makers. This may include:

  1. Relevant county public health data, including HIV and hepatitis C viral (HCV) infection, opiate and stimulant overdoses, endocarditis, soft tissue infections, congenital syphilis and other diseases and health conditions associated with injection drug use;
  2. Information from the SSP(s) in the county:
    • Number of individuals served
    • Numbers of syringes distributed
    • Numbers of syringes collected (note, this is often less as many communities have other alternatives for disposal)
    • Number of overdose kits provided
    • Number of overdose reversals reported
    • Demographic information
    • Number of treatment referrals
    • Information (with pictures) of services provided and locations
    • Number of HIV and HCV tests performed
    • Additional accomplishments.

OA will provide information to the health officer on state authorized SSPs; most local SSPs will share data on their operations upon request, though may require funding for complex data collection and analysis.

Where to Find the Data for California (HIV/AIDS, HCV, Overdose)

Page Last Updated :