The Harrisburg Harm Reduction Project, Inc. is a mobile syringe exchange operating from a variety of locations on a weekday schedule.

MISSION:  To provide non-judgmental services including syringe exchange, basic healthcare, education, and counseling to the most vulnerable and hard-to-reach populations of Dauphin County the homeless, the uninsured, the injection drug users, and sex workers.

To offer safety measures for those who are at high risk for contracting HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis and other blood-borne diseases.

Also, to protect the public from the spread of diseases.

Through referrals to other health care services, to help those seeking assistance to return to their homes and work places.

Melinda Zipp, Outreach Director

Government support for syringe exchanges: 

Syringe exchange definition: "Syringe exchange programs (SEPs) provide sterile syringes in exchange for used syringes to reduce transmission of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and other bloodborne infections associated with reuse of contaminated syringes by injection-drug users (IDUs). . . . SEPs can help prevent bloodborne pathogen transmission by increasing access to sterile syringes among IDUs and enabling safe disposal of used syringes. Often, programs also provide other public health services, such as HIV testing, risk-reduction education, and referrals for substance-abuse treatment."

Source: "Update: Syringe Exchange Programs -- United States, 2002," Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, July 15, 2005, Vol. 54, No. 27 (Atlanta, GA: US Centers for Disease Control), p. 673.

U.S. Surgeon General on scientific evidence: "After reviewing all of the research to date, the senior scientists of the Department and I have unanimously agreed that there is conclusive scientific evidence that syringe exchange programs, as part of a comprehensive HIV prevention strategy, are an effective public health intervention that reduces the transmission of HIV and does not encourage the use of illegal drugs."

Source: US Surgeon General Dr. David Satcher, Department of Health and Human Services, "Evidence-Based Findings on the Efficacy of Syringe Exchange Programs: An Analysis from the Assistant Secretary for Health and Surgeon General of the Scientific Research Completed Since April 1998," (Washington, DC: Dept. of Health and Human Services, 2000), p. 11. ten (13.0%) reported using a needle they know or suspected someone else had used before them."

Department of Health and Human Services Reports:  Between 1991 and 1997, the US Government funded seven reports on clean needle programs for persons who inject drugs. The reports are unanimous in their conclusions that clean needle programs reduce HIV transmission, and none found that clean needle programs caused rates of drug use to increase. The federal Department of Health and Human Services currently maintains a webpage on the effectiveness of syringe exchange programs is at

Source: National Commission on AIDS, The Twin Epidemics of Substance Abuse and HIV (Washington DC: National Commission on AIDS, 1991); General Accounting Office, Needle Exchange Programs: Research Suggests Promise as an AIDS Prevention Strategy (Washington DC: US Government Printing Office, 1993); Lurie, P. & Reingold, A.L., et al., The Public Health Impact of Needle Exchange Programs in the United States and Abroad (San Francisco, CA: University of California, 1993); Satcher, David, MD, (Note to Jo Ivey Bouffard), The Clinton Administration's Internal Reviews of Research on Needle Exchange Programs (Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control, December 10, 1993); National Research Council and Institute of Medicine, Normand, J., Vlahov, D. & Moses, L. (eds.), Preventing HIV Transmission: The Role of Sterile Needles and Bleach (Washington DC: National Academy Press, 1995); Office of Technology Assessment of the U.S. Congress, The Effectiveness of AIDS Prevention Efforts (Springfield, VA: National Technology Information Service, 1995); National Institutes of Health Consensus Panel, Interventions to Prevent HIV Risk Behaviors (Kensington, MD: National Institutes of Health Consensus Program Information Center, February 1997).

In 1998, Donna Shalala, then Secretary of Health and Human Services in the Clinton Administration, stated: "A meticulous scientific review has now proven that needle exchange programs can reduce the transmission of HIV and save lives without losing ground in the battle against illegal drugs."


Source: Shalala, D.E., Secretary, Department of Health and Human Services, Press release from Department of Health and Human Services (April 20, 1998).


Harrisburg Harm Reduction Project, Inc. is financially supported and under the supervision of Common Sense for Drug Policy, a 501 (c) 3 foundation. 


Ernest Drucker, Ph.D.,   Chair

Robert E. Field, Co-Chair and Executive Director



Address: P. O Box 209, Bausman, PA 17504-0209 717-808-1084