A proven practice to reduce the spread of hepatitis C, HIV and blood-borne disease

On March 24, 2015, the Kentucky General Assembly gave municipalities authority to institute a needle exchange program.

What is a needle exchange?

  • A public health program for people who are injecting drug users (IDUs)
  • Senate Bill 192 was passed to allow local health departments to give clean needles to IDUs in exchange for their used needles, with no criminal penalty for the drug users
  • Proven to reduce the spread of  hepatitis C, HIV and other blood-borne infections
    • Provides new, sterile syringes and clean injection equipment
    • Properly disposes of contaminated syringes

Why is a needle exchange program important for IDUs?

  • Safe disposal of used needles
  • Free confidential testing for HIV (optional)
  • Education about the harms associated with drug use and how to minimize them
  • Counseling and treatment

Location and hours of operation:

  • Hours of operation:
    • 1-4 p.m. Monday
    • 3-6:30 p.m. Wednesday
    • 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Friday
  • Lexington-Fayette County Health Department, 650 Newtown Pike, Dr. Rice C. Leach Community Room

NOTE: We will not accept needles from patients with diabetes. We realize the need for these patients to dispose of their used needles and have learned from the city that these needles can be put in the regular trash if they are sealed in a heavy plastic or metal container such as a coffee can or similar plastic container. Click here to find out more about the  Lexington-Fayette County Urban Government Solid Waste guidelines regarding disposal of “other items” including medical waste. We urge patients who need to dispose of needles used for insulin to do so according to acceptable city procedures.

Helpful Resources:

For more information about the needle exchange program, call (859) 899-4230.