AMA calls for needle and syringe programs (NSPs) to be introduced in prisons

Australian Medical Association, January 9th 2017

The AMA has called for needle and syringe programs (NSPs) to be introduced in prisons and other custodial settings, to reduce the spread of Blood Borne Viruses (BBVs) including hepatitis B and C, and HIV.

AMA President, Dr Michael Gannon, said today that prevalence of BBVs is significantly higher in prisons, yet custodial facilities provide a unique opportunity to protect the health of inmates.

A new AMA position statement also warns against making transmission of a BBV a crime, and calls for specific resourcing and management of HLTV-1, a relatively unknown BBV that affects Aboriginal people in central Australia.

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