The opioid and HIV epidemics, two of the most pressing public health challenges of our time, are increasingly intertwined. Infected needles result in 3,000 to 5,000 new cases of HIV and approximately 10,000 new cases of hepatitis C in the United States each year.
Syringe service programs are a proven and cost-effective HIV and hepatitis prevention tool, providing people who inject drugs with sterile injection equipment, overdose prevention, and related health messaging to reduce potential harm and improve their overall health. These services are frequently the only link for people who inject drugs to treatment programs as well as other public health, medical, and social services. Additionally, the safe disposal of used needles reduces the risk of “accidental sticks” to sanitation workers, police, and other community members.
We are a national grantmaking collaborative that supports service providers and policy projects that reduce use of shared syringes and ensure their safe disposal. For over a decade, SAF has made remarkable impact on public policy and public health, awarding more than $20 million through 409 grants to 177 organizations in 33 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands. $17.7 million to 150 organizations in 32 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. With this support, grantees have distributed over 66 million syringes to more than 350,000 clients and have led advocacy efforts to change laws around the country, so these programs can reach more people in need.
Between 2018 and 2020, we invested nearly $2.4M in communities across the country to support HIV and viral hepatitis prevention efforts. These funds will support syringe services at 62 organizations across 32 states.