Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, April 5, 2019

Cempa Community Care reveals syringe exchange data

STEP TN, a harm-reduction and education program for injection drug users co-administered by Cempa Community Care, saw a steep increase in the number of people served during an 11-month period ending Jan. 31.

After serving only seven people during the first month, STEP TN ultimately served 660 people during that period.

STEP TN is designed to reduce the spread of HIV, Hepatitis C and other bloodborne infections, as well as facilitate safe disposal of needles and syringes.

The program also discarded 80,085 syringes and distributed 108,392 syringes, 547 naloxone kits and 600 pamphlets about HIV and hepatitis prevention. (Naloxone is a drug that can reverse the effects of an opioid drug overdose.)

“The significant increase in participation over the course of STEP TN’s first year shows how much program participants trust our team,” says Shannon Stephenson, CEO of Cempa. “A substantial amount of stigma is attached to programs like this one, but one of our goals at Cempa is to challenge negative mindsets and deliver care to those who need it.”

STEP TN is a state-funded program co-administered by Cempa in Hamilton County and the ETSU Center of Excellence of HIV/AIDS Care in Washington County.

More about STEP TN: www.steptn.org

More about Cempa: www.cempa.org

Source: Cempa