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NIDA Warns That Bleach Fails to Kill HIV but Fails To Endorse Needle Exchange


April 1993

A recent bulletin by the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) warns that bleach fails to kill HIV (the AIDS virus), counsels intravenous drug users to either stop injecting, stop sharing needles, or to boil needles and syringes for 15 minutes after each use. But the bulletin mentions needle exchange only parenthetically (NIDA Community Alert Bulletin, 3/25/93).

The bulletin citing recent studies showing the failure of disinfectants to effectively sterilize injecting equipment, warned in capital letters that "DISINFECTANTS DO NOT STERILIZE EQUIPMENT."

In a parenthetical statement, the bulletin states: "Note to Policy makers and other Public Health Officials: Review your local laws and regulations concerning needle/syringe availability and paraphernalia possession. Needle/syringe exchange programs may provide another means of providing sterile equipment to users and decreasing sequential use of injection equipment by addicts; however, the risks and benefits of such programs are still under study."