Las Vegas is probably not the first place one thinks of when asked to name a U.S. city that is fast becoming a leader in public health initiatives. But as the nation’s opioid epidemic continues to ravage Sin City, residents and activists are looking for ways to reduce heroin-related deaths in the town but also cut skyrocketing infection rates of diseases like HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C, which are common among intravenous drug users.
Enter vending machines. Inspired by successes in places like Europe and Australia, Trac-B Exchange, the Southern Nevada Health District and the Nevada AIDS Research and Education Society are set to begin a pilot program that will install three syringe-dispensing vending machines across Las Vegas in the hope of reducing drug users’ needle sharing. READ MORE