Needle and Syringe Programs commenced in Victoria with four pilot programs in 1987. In 1988, the program was expanded state-wide. Of the 285 registered programs in Victoria, 19 are primary outlets, including 12 mobile services that are fully funded through the program. Four programs are partially funded enhanced secondary outlets, 43 are pharmacy based and the remaining 219 are secondary outlets. Of the total 285, 194 were supplied with injecting equipment for distribution to clients in 2008. All NSPs provide disposal facilities. More than 900 pharmacies sell injecting equipment on a retail basis.

  • Number of NSPs - 194 (plus 902 retail community pharmacies)
  • Syringes distributed 1999-2008 - 81,659,050
  • Average syringes per year - 8,165,050
  • Total spending 2007/8 - $8,248,694
The proportion of Australian IDUs in Victoria has remained relatively steady. The number of needles and syringes distributed through NSPs in Victoria has increased substantially (see Figure 54). There is no clear trend in the average frequency of injecting by IDUs in Victoria; however, it appears that after a reduction in the injecting frequency at the beginning of the decade, there has since been a modestly increasing trend. Sharing rates have been increasing slightly in Victoria. The prevalence of HCV among Victorian IDUs has been steadily increasing over the last decade. HIV incidence is steady or slightly decreasing among Victorian IDUs.

In 2008 calendar year, 9,569,336 syringes were provided in Victoria: 45.8% though primary sites; 7.8% through enhanced secondary sites; 36.9% through unfunded secondary sites and 9.6% through retail community pharmacies.

Retail community pharmacists charge an average of $5.75 per five-pack out-of-pocket costs. Vending machines are not available. A Disposal Helpline has been established to advise community members on the safe disposal of inappropriately discarded injecting equipment and to coordinate retrieval by NSP or local government services where required. The number of NSP sites in Victoria is listed in Table 32. Table 33 reports the spending by financial year in 2008 dollars, unadjusted and adjusted for the consumer price index (CPI).

A detailed breakdown of the data from Victoria is presented in Table 34; it should be acknowledged that a number of line items may not directly contribute to averting just blood borne virus transmission, but the sector's costs are included. All data were included in the summary in Table 33.Top of page

Figure 54: Number of needles and syringes distributed in Victoria (1999-2008)

Text equivalent below for Figure 54: Number of needles and syringes distributed in Victoria (1999-2008)

Text version of Figure 54

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

Number of syringes distributed in Victoria:
  • 1999 - 7,500,000
  • 2000 - 8,250,000
  • 2001 - 7,250,000
  • 2002 - 7,000,000
  • 2003 - 7,900,000
  • 2004 - 8,250,000
  • 2005 - 8,500,000
  • 2006 - 7,750,000
  • 2007 - 9,250,000
  • 2008 - 9,750,000

Table 32: Number of NSP sites in Victoria

Primary Enhanced SecondarySecondary Pharmacy NSP
2008
19
4
141
30
2007
19
4
140
13
2006
19
4
134
10
2005
19
4
139
11
2004
19
4
132
8
2003
18
5
122
9
2002
18
5
115
9
2001
18
5
111
9
2000
17
6
108
9
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Table 33: Summary of expenditure on NSPs in Victoria (2000/1-2007/8)

2000/12001/22002/32003/42004/52005/62006/72007/8
Consumables - sterile injecting equipment ($'000)
1,096
880
897
1,158
1,190
1,084
1,171
1,448
Consumables - disposal equipment ($'000)
186
194
175
244
292
220
272
424
Consumables - safe sex packs ($'000)
15
52
70
69
52
63
76
71
Consumables sub-total ($'000)
1,297
1,126
1,142
1,470
1,535
1,368
1,519
1,943
NSP support - primary NSP operations ($'000)
3,105
3,713
3,475
4,323
4,551
4,028
5,274
5,566
NSP support - support for secondary NSPs ($'000)
233
173
182
186
363
321
330
365
NSP support - transport ($'000)
68
59
58
64
70
78
71
82
NSP support - vending machines ($'000)
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
NSP support sub-total ($'000)
3,405
3,945
3,715
4,574
4,984
4,427
5,675
6,013
Total (unadjusted for CPI) ($'000)
4,702
5,071
4,857
6,045
6,519
5,795
7,195
7,956
Total in 2008 (adjusted for CPI) ($'000)
5,945
6,217
5,780
7,027
7,386
6,387
7,681
8,249
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Table 34: Detailed summary of expenditure on NSPs in Victoria (2000/1-2007/8)

2000/1 ($‘000)2001/2 ($‘000)2002/3 ($‘000)2003/4 ($‘000)2004/5 ($‘000)2005/6 ($‘000)2006/7 ($‘000)2007/8 ($‘000)
Needles and syringes
798
620
643
789
878
779
874
1,019
Sharps disposal containers
186
194
175
244
292
220
272
424
Alcohol swabs
121
105
104
149
116
124
110
173
Bags and boxes
15
13
14
22
8
14
15
15
Store, distribution and needle-kit assembly
94
83
78
134
119
90
100
159
Condoms and lube
15
52
70
69
52
63
76
71
Postage
68
59
58
65
70
78
71
82
Consumables
1,297
1,126
1,142
1,470
1,535
1,368
1,519
1,943
NSP agency funding (base)
2,627
2,768
2,908
3,045
3,365
3,459
3,627
4,090
Steroid peer education program
62
62
65
66
68
69
71
73
NSP agency funding (non-base)
160
-
42
574
144
4
150
544
Regional service agreement
2,849
2,830
3,016
3,685
3,577
3,532
3,848
4,708
NSP sector advocacy
145
102
207
260
256
221
368
238
Harm reduction conference
20
20
21
63
104
22
53
61
Sector training
14
257
1
-
402
110
561
390
NSP recruitment
-
-
-
-
-
21
22
-
Safe needle disposal strategy projects
-
251
-
-
-
-
107
-
Disposal helpline
-
96
61
62
77
65
67
69
Disposal services
76
82
77
88
118
120
127
102
Disposal bin enclosures
-
-
-
-
-
11
34
13
Data entry
18
36
26
22
24
14
10
7
Information resources
20
8
2
64
6
40
48
1
Research and evaluation
49
10
72
-
130
-
45
11
IT and audit
-
-
-
1
-
-
7
53
HPS salaries and oncosts (not including NSP-IS EFT or other corporate support)
212
239
223
319
278
258
363
342
Administration
3
13
10
10
12
12
17
18
Sector support
556
1,115
699
889
1,407
895
1,828
1,305
Total NSP expenditure
4,702
5,071
4,857
6,045
6,519
5,795
7,195
7,956
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