Join the Backyard BBQs with our Harm Reduction Team

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Greene County Public Health’s Communicable Disease/ HIV Prevention and SafeTrade programs will be joining forces with a new series of events to serve one of our most marginalized populations. Monthly “backyard BBQ” style events will be offered through October at our SafeTrade/WIC location in Fairborn one Friday each month. There will be free food, games, HIV, Hep C and Syphilis testing. Other community partners have been invited to come and share information about their services (Greene Cats, Care Source, Hep C Cure Squad, Inclusive Fairborn, and more). The goal of these events is to provide individuals with resources to improve their overall quality of life.

The events are scheduled during SafeTrade hours of 1pm-4pm. SafeTrade is a harm reduction program that provides syringe exchange in an effort to prevent the spread of communicable diseases (HIV/ Hep C/ Syphilis). SafeTrade also provides screening for viral hepatitis and HIV, education about overdose prevention and safer injection practices, abscess and wound care education, and naloxone distribution and education.

The dates for upcoming events are as follows:

  • June 30th - National HIV Testing Day
  • July 14th
  • August 11th
  • September 29th
  • October 27th

All events listed above will take place at Greene County Public Health’s SafeTrade/WIC office located at 25 S. Central Avenue in Fairborn.

Syringe Services Programs (SSP) do not cause or increase illegal drug use, nor do they cause or increase crime rates. When people who inject drugs use an SSP, they are more likely to enter treatment for substance use disorder and stop injecting than those who don’t use an SSP.  SSPs reduce infections, as nonsterile injections can lead to transmission of HIV, viral hepatitis, bacterial and fungal infections, and other complications. By providing access to sterile syringes and other injection equipment, SSPs help people prevent transmitting bloodborne and other infections when they inject drugs. In addition to being at risk for HIV, viral hepatitis, and other blood-borne and sexually transmitted diseases, people who inject drugs can get other serious, life-threatening, and costly health problems, such as infections of the heart valves (endocarditis), serious skin infections, and deep tissue abscesses. Access to sterile injection equipment can help prevent these infections, and health care provided at SSPs can catch these problems early on and provide easy-to-access treatment to a population that may be reluctant to go to a hospital or seek other medical care. Studies show that SSPs also protect the public and first responders by providing safe needle disposal and reducing the presence of needles in the community.

Joining forces to offer testing allows public health to meet people where they are. HIV continues to affect marginalized populations and has a disproportionate impact on racial and ethnic minorities. HIV can affect anyone regardless of sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, gender, age, or where they live. However, in the United States, some racial/ethnic groups are more affected than others, compared to their percentage of the population. This is because some population groups have higher rates of HIV in their communities, thus raising the risk of new infections with each sexual or injection drug use encounter. Additionally, a range of social, economic, and demographic factors such as stigma, discrimination, income, education, and geographic region can affect people’s risk for HIV as well as their HIV-related outcomes. Getting people to test can be challenging due to stigma, so public health officials encourage and normalize testing​.