Implementing the Syringe Services Guidance

What does the new CDC Syringe Services Guidance mean for community based organizations (CBOs) in the fight against HIV?

How do jurisdictions get approved to use Federal funds for syringe services?

What can and can’t you do with Federal funds?

The expert panel of presenters broke down the available guidance from HHS, CDC, and HRSA into easy-to understand and actionable terms and demonstrated how to use your own program data to build a compelling case needed to justify the use of federal funds for syringe programs. Participants heard from organizations at the heart of the Indiana outbreak and other communities who are building strong partnerships with their health departments needed to effectively address the HIV and harm reduction needs in their communities.

Download the slides here.

This webinar was sponsored by the AIDS United Getting to Zero initiative. Learn how Getting to Zero can support your organization with free and customized technical assistance, including answering questions about the guidance, developing your Determination of Need application, and more!


Chris Abert, Director, Indiana Recovery Alliance 
Christopher Abert is a social worker and the director of the Indiana Recovery Alliance. He has worked with people who use drugs in numerous capacities over the past 12 years, most recently in the capacity of founding a low barrier harm reduction project in southern Indiana. Mr. Abert is confident that a confluence of well-funded solutions (some old, some new) can help Hoosiers as they face the current opioid, HCV and HIV epidemics.

Cyndee Clay, Executive Director, HIPS 
Clay is an internationally recognized expert with over  20 years experience in program development, nonprofit management and evaluation for improving the health and safety of injection and non-injection drug users, sex workers, and transgender individuals. She is a graduate of the UCLA/Johnson & Johnson Health Care Executive Program at UCLA Business School, convened DC’s first working group on drug user health, and serves as the DC Prevention Planning Group’s community co-chair elect, DC community representative for the Urban Coalition of HIV/AIDS Prevention Services UCHAPS, and the DC Recovery Advisory Council.

Dr. Carrie Lawrence PhD CFLE CHES, Director, Project Cultivate 
Dr. Lawrence is a practitioner-academic and public health advocate with several years of practice experience in nonprofit and social services. Her applied research examines addressing social justice, health disparities and inequalities by empowering communities to collectively act upon their own health priorities, inform program and service design, and development as well as health policy and system transformation. Dr. Lawrence has initiated several community-based participatory and translational research projects employing multiple methods that engage and empower community members in identifying, leveraging and sustaining local resources to promote and support individual health. Her current research explores the development of a health commons framework to address consequences of policy on local communities and through collective action local residents address deficits created by policy agendas counter to their goals.

Kiefer Paterson, Syringe Access Policy Organizer, AIDS United
Kiefer comes to his work as AIDS United’s syringe access policy organizer through a deeply personal connection to the harms of the war on drugs. He experienced homelessness in his youth in Detroit related to familial and community substance use, and has said in the past that: “If my mother had access to harm reduction programming like a syringe exchange, she very well might’ve lived to see my 21st birthday.” Having lost many to street violence, overdose, and HIV, he remains committed to promoting harm reduction solutions to public health problems. His work doing grassroots community organizing started in Michigan, organizing with LGBTQ student groups to expand non-discrimination policies and address intimate partner violence (IPV) and continued into anti-violence, suicide prevention, and homelessness organizing with trans and queer folk in Washington D.C. He worked as a community health worker & case manager with HIPS, a local syringe exchange and harm reduction agency in D.C., and strongly believes that service providers and community groups are key stakeholders in any truly representative policy work. Kiefer is also a True Colors Fund “40 of the Forty” awardee for his activism and leadership as an LGBTQ young person who has experienced homelessness. He is deeply interested in the intersections of HIV, racial and economic justice, homelessness and housing instability, and LGBTQ identity. He is strongly committed addressing the social determinants that fuel the HIV epidemic.

Emma Roberts, Capacity Building Manager, Harm Reduction Coalition

Emma Roberts has worked for the Harm Reduction Coalition as training consultant since 2009 and in 2014 became a Capacity Building Manager for the organization. Her focus is to provide technical assistance and support to programs promoting syringe access, drug user health, Hepatitis C services and overdose prevention. Originally from the UK, Emma started her career in community development work in 1990. She became involved in Harm Reduction work in 1996 when the National Health Service funded one of the first syringes exchanges in the North of England in the corner of the community center she worked at. Since then Emma has gone on to manage and lead various community based programs including Getaway Girls, a Young Women’s charity for 7 years. She landed in New York in 2008 where she has coordinated a syringe exchange program and mobile health program providing medical and dental services to vulnerable street based and homeless populations in the city operating across South Bronx, Harlem and parts of Brooklyn.