The Tasmanian Parliament passed the HIV/AIDS Preventive Measures Act in 1993 that enabled the establishment of NSPs in Tasmania. Prior to this, relatively small numbers of needles and syringes were distributed informally. Tasmania now has six primary outlets, 20 secondary outlets, and 60 pharmacy-based outlets. Pharmacy-based outlets provide equipment for a fee.

  • Number of NSPs - 86
  • Syringes distributed 2001-2008 - 6,409,721
  • Average syringes per year - 801,215
  • Total spending 2007/8 - $797,831
The number of IDUs in Tasmania has remained relatively constant. The number of sterile injecting equipment units increased in 2004-2005 but has generally stayed stable (see Figure 49). The average frequency of injecting by IDUs in Tasmania has remained steady but sharing rates have been increasing. The prevalence of HCV among Tasmanian IDUs has increased significantly over the last decade but HIV infections are rare among Tasmanian IDUs.

In 2007/8, 691,668 sterile injection equipment units were provided in Tasmania: 17% were distributed through secondary sites and 23% were distributed through pharmacies. Pharmacists charge an average of $5 per three-pack out-of-pocket costs. The number of NSP sites in Tasmania is listed in Table 29. Table 30 reports the spending by financial year in 2008 dollars, unadjusted and adjusted for the consumer price index (CPI).

Figure 49: Number of needles and syringes distributed in Tasmania (2001-2008)

Text equivalent below for Figure 49: Number of needles and syringes distributed in Tasmania (2001-2008)
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Text version of Figure 49

Figures in this description are approximate as they have been read from the graph.

Number of syringes distributed in Tasmania:
  • 2001 - 275,000
  • 2002 - 900,000
  • 2003 - 700,000
  • 2004 - 1,350,000
  • 2005 - 1,00,000
  • 2006 - 775,000
  • 2007 - 800,000
  • 2008 - 575,000

Table 29: Number of NSP sites in Tasmania

 Primary Secondary
2007
6
20
2006
6
19
2005
6
19
2004
4
19
2003
3
19

Table 30: Summary of expenditure on NSPs in Tasmania (2000/1 to 2007/8).

Missing values for earlier years were imputed.
2000/12001/22002/32003/42004/52005/62006/72007/8
Consumables - sterile injecting equipment ($'000)
484
447
490
595
628
588
678
340
Consumables - disposal equipment ($'000)
60
55
51
56
67
71
66
76
Consumables - safe sex packs ($'000)
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
Consumables sub-total ($'000)
544
502
541
651
695
659
744
416
NSP support - primary NSP operations ($'000)
182
217
216
235
263
258
306
308
NSP support - support for secondary NSPs ($'000)
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
NSP support - transport ($'000)
6
7
7
7
8
8
10
10
NSP support - vending machines ($'000)
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
35
NSP support sub-total ($'000)
188
224
223
243
271
266
316
353
Total (unadjusted for CPI) ($'000)
732
726
764
893
966
925
1,059
769
Total (adjusted for CPI) ($'000)
871
864
909
1,038
1,095
1,019
1,131
798
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