Using drugs —injecting drugs, meth, alcohol or other drugs? The best way to reduce your risk of HIV is to stop using drugs. Locate a drug treatment program near you by visiting: Find services.
If you are injecting drugs and think you cannot stop using yet, here are some other things that will reduce your risk of getting HIV or transmitting it to others:
- Never use or “share” syringes needles, water, or drug preparation equipment that has already been used by someone else.
- Use a new, sterile syringe each time you prepare and inject drugs. You can get clean needles from pharmacies or syringe services programs (a.k.a. needle-exchange programs).
- Only use syringes from a reliable source (e.g., pharmacies or syringe services programs).
- Use sterile water to prepare drugs, such as water that has been boiled for 5 minutes or clean water from a reliable source (such as fresh tap water).
- Use a new or disinfected container (“cooker”) and a new filter (“cotton”) each time you prepare drugs.
- Before you inject, clean the injection site with a new alcohol swab.
- Safely dispose of syringes after one use.
Need help getting clean needles (or getting rid of old ones) inSanta ClaraCounty? Here’s info for the Santa Clara County Needle Exchange Program:
Needle Exchange Program
(24-hour Voice Mail)
1 (888) 308-1110