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Office of aids

Needle Exchange and Syringe Access

People who inject drugs continue to be at risk for HIV and hepatitis C (HCV) infection in California. Research has consistently found that increasing access to sterile syringes significantly reduces the risk of HIV transmission. California law supports public health efforts to expand access to sterile syringes through both syringe exchange programs (SEPs) and nonprescription syringe sale in pharmacies.

To find a syringe exchange program near you, see the Directory of California SEPs. For further information about nonprescription syringe sale contact Alessandra Ross, Injection Drug Use Specialist at 916-449-5796 or

Programs and Fact Sheets

Syringe Exchange Programs in California

Overview of SEP services and fact sheets for health departments, consumers, SEPs and law enforcement. Includes information about the CDPH Syringe Exchange Certification Program, which allows qualified agencies to apply directly to CDPH for authorization to provide syringe exchange services.

Non-prescription Sale of Syringes in Pharmacies

Toolkit for health departments and resources for pharmacists and pharmacy customers.


Harm Reduction Coalition

Manuals, brochures, and capacity-building assistance for health departments and organizations that work to improve the health and wellbeing of people who use drugs.

California Office of Viral Hepatitis Prevention

Resources for patients, healthcare providers and health departments, updated regularly to track rapidly changing developments in viral hepatitis treatment and policy.


Fact sheets for policy makers and short videos about the effectiveness of syringe exchange and harm reduction.


Interactive online map of HIV prevalence in the United States. Includes state and local maps; lets users filter HIV prevalence data by race/ethnicity, sex and age.

CDC's Syringe Services Programs web page

Information from CDC about the use of federal funds to support syringe services programs, as well as links to additional resources and data.


Reported HIV/AIDS cases in California

Current and archived reports of HIV/AIDS cases by county, race/ethnicity, age, gender, and transmission route.

Hepatitis C data

State and local viral hepatitis surveillance reports.

Overdose data

Interactive tables allow users to examine county data on opiate and other drug overdose.

CDC Approval of OA Request for Determination of Need (PDF)

This document includes data and a narrative submitted to CDC as a request for a "determination of need" to use federal funds to support SEPs. The California Department of Public Health, Office of AIDS concluded that the state of California is at risk for an outbreak of HIV and/or HCV among people who inject drugs; the CDC concurrence is included.


The Risks of the Job (Video)

Made in cooperation with the Los Angeles Police Department, this 15-minute documentary explains how officers can reduce the risk of infection by needle stick injuries on the job. Officers visit an SEP on their beat and explore the ways that SEPs can help keep law enforcement officers and their communities safer.



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