Harm reduction interventions, which aim to reduce the harms associated with drug use, play a significant role in reducing HIV transmission.
Since 2007, the District of Columbia has developed expertise and invested resources in a network of harm reduction programs that serve people at high risk of acquiring HIV. These programs provide a variety of services, including clean syringe distribution, used syringe collection, and community cleanups. They also provide a wide array of HIV prevention services, including education, rapid HIV screenings, condoms, and access to treatment. The impact of harm reduction programs is evident by the data: There were only two new reported cases of infections in people who inject drugs in 2019, compared with more than 100 in 2008. As DC Health looks toward a future where HIV is a rare occurrence, harm reduction will remain an important strategy and will be implemented through the following activities: