A suite of materials on low dead space injecting equipment have been developed to raise awareness and reduce the transmission of blood-borne viruses when injecting drugs.

The materials include posters, an animated video and a booklet, co-designed by service users at the Bristol Drugs Project. Launched in 2019, the materials promote the benefits of low dead space injecting equipment for people who inject drugs.

By way of background, low dead space equipment has less space between the needle and plunger after injecting. It is well documented that blood and the drug can remain in this space. Therefore, there is a risk of transmitting blood-borne viruses such as Hepatitis C (HCV) and HIV if this equipment is subsequently shared.

Research from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care West (CLARHRC West), and the NIHR Health Protection Research Unit (HPRU) at the University of Bristol has showed that low dead space equipment is effective and that people who inject drugs are willing to switch to low dead space equipment as the benefits also include less drugs being wasted.

These communications materials can play an important role in supporting needle and syringe programmes to introduce and encourage safer injecting equipment amongst service users. As the NHS England and NHS Improvement target to eliminate Hepatitis C before the World Health Organization goal of 2030 draws closer, reducing the harms from injecting drug use is as important as ever.

We would be grateful if you could look at these materials and distribute them to anyone who might be interested.

To download the materials: here

For more information please email: [email protected]