The Needle and Syringe Program (NSP) operates from a variety of sites around Tasmania including pharmacies and is funded by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) for the specific purpose of ensuring the availability of equipment and services to injecting drug users.
The NSP was initiated by the Tasmanian Government in 1993 under the HIV/AIDS Preventative Measures Act 1993.
A new NSP, established under the Public Health Act 1997, replaced the former program under the HIV/AIDS Preventive Measures Act 1993. The HIV/AIDS Preventive Measures Act 1993 has been repealed and will not operate from 1 July 2015.
The NSP is a key public health strategy, the objective of which is to minimise the transmission of HIV, Hepatitis C, and Hepatitis B and other drug related harms to injecting drug users and to the wider community.
The provision of sterile injecting equipment to injecting drug users reduces the incidence of people sharing or reusing injecting equipment.
Under the Public Health Act 1997, the Department of Health and Human Services will issue a permit to businesses or organisations rather than individuals. All businesses and organisations operating under the NSP program will need a permit to continue in the program from 1 July 2015.
Permits will be valid for up to three years.
Public Health Act 1997, injecting equipment must only be supplied on behalf of the permit holder by people who hold a certificate. A certificate will be issued when approved training is completed.
Staff with a current permit issued under the HIV/AIDS Preventive Measures Act 1993 are deemed to hold a certificate under the Public Health Act 1997.
From 1 July 2015, untrained staff and those previously supplying equipment under supervision must complete approved training and be issued with a certificate before they can supply equipment.
Certificates will be valid for up to three years.
Please note: there is a charge for Water for Injection, at cost recovery, which will raise an invoice from DHHS if ordered.
Safety Protocols & Procedures
RESOURCES(This is not an exhaustive list; other reference should be sought if required.)