WNCAP Needle Exchange Needs Help
We are in a public health crisis in Western North Carolina. The opioid epidemic is devastating our communities, and one of its terrible effects is skyrocketing rates of Hepatitis C and HIV. According to the Centers for Disease Control, syringe exchange programs are effective in bringing down the rate of new infections. Not only are needle exchange programs effective, they are inexpensive compared to the high costs of treating HIV and Hep C.
The demand for sterile needles is overwhelming WNCAP, which is responsible for a staggering 38% of all needle exchange activity in the state of North Carolina. Although the WNCAP service area is only 18 counties in WNC, people have flooded in from 32 counties and 4 states other than North Carolina in order to access safe supplies. When we run out of syringes, we must turn people away, cutting off their access to hygienic supplies and the possibility of further engagement. This is truly a crisis, and we need members of the community to step up for public health.
This fund has been created to assist with WNCAP's impact in serving our community with sterile injection supplies. As a small, community-based organization, WNCAP is completely dependent on state and federal funding to continue to serve. Yet, these two sources of revenue are not available for needle exchange, which means we are even more reliant on the generosity of our community to keep this vital public health program alive.
A personal message from WNCAP Prevention Educator Michael Harney.
Hepatitis C can affect anyone, but it disproportionately devastates marginalized groups like the poor, LGBTQ, and people who inject drugs. Needle exchange programs are one of the most effective ways to fight Hepatitis C. Will you stand up for public health in our WNC community?