Las Vegas is using a new approach to combat rising HIV rates by becoming the first place throughout the United States to install vending machines that dispense free needles, 100% Fed Up reports.
It is part of an effort by health officials to reduce the transmission of diseases like hepatitis C and HIV. One in 10 HIV diagnoses happen among IV drug users. In the county where Las Vegas is located, HIV transmission rates among needle users surpass the 9 percent national average.
The machines, which were showed to the public Wednesday, don’t take money. Instead, users must register though personal identifying information is not required. Once registered, they will get a card and a unique ID number that give them access to the machines two times a week.
The vending machine vends a kit that contains 10 syringes, alcohol swabs, a rubber tourniquet, band aids, a needle disposal container for the used needles, and an information sheet about treatment providers.