Nevada is becoming the first state in the United States to place three vending machines in Las Vegas to exchange clean needles to prevent the transmission of the infectious diseases.
By May, Nevada will have three location in Las Vegas where vending machines will provide clean needles and a gear. Within the kit, there will be 10 syringes, a disposal container where the used syringes go, alcohol swabs and adhesive bandages.
However, not everyone will be able to get a kit. These vending machines will not be accepting money but instead will be accessible to the clients of the Trac-B exchange. A program that is run by the Las Vegas Hard Reduction Center.
The vending machines will require a card to be scanned and to an ID number where the clients will be able to access the gear. The reduction centers are required to track their clients which why the cards are provided. There will be a limit per client of two each week.
The Las Vegas Hard Reduction Center worked with the Southern Nevada Health District and the Nevada AIDS Research and Education Society to locate these machines in Las Vegas. Although it is the first in the United States, theses vending machines have been used for years out of the country such as Puerto Rico, Europe and Australia.
This program aims to reduce transmissible diseases that have been increasing over the years that the CDC has warned against the increase across the country especially among the young demographic of ages between 18-25.
In a report showing studies from 2002 to 2013, the results indicate a great increase in the usage of heroin among the demographics with lower rates of heroin use historically that include women who are privately insured and people with a higher income.
During the same period that these studies were conducted, the death rates have quadrupled to 8,200 deaths in 2013.
Then, there is Clark county which where Las Vegas is located that has a higher HIV transmission rates among needle users than the national average which as 9 percent.
By the end of May, Nevada will have installed the three vending machines in Las Vegas.