Health

Louisville Metro Public Health is opening a new community site for the city’s syringe exchange program.

The site, at 1455 Bicknell Ave. about a mile north of Iroquois Park, will begin offering syringes to people on Feb. 17.

The site is a vacant lot owned by the Louisville Metro Housing Authority.

Volunteers of America will operate the exchange Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Dave Langdon, spokesman for Metro Public Health, said data shows a particular need for a needle exchange near the new site.

“It will help people who need to use the services of the syringe exchange who might not have an automobile or ready access to an automobile,” he said.

This will be the second community outreach site Metro Public Health has set up. In October, the needle exchange expanded to the Lake Dreamland Fire Station at 4603 Cane Run Road.

The exchange program has provided 180,562 syringes and collected 86,7310 syringes, according to a report by Metro Public Health.

“So far, these Louisville needle exchanges have seen more than 2,000 clients and more than 106 people have been referred to drug treatment,” Langdon said.

Of those clients, 45 percent are returning participants.

The most recent report also shows five clients were referred for HIV treatment.

Of those, two were discovered to have HIV when tested by syringe exchange staff. In all, 216 people have been tested for HIV. Also, 147 people were tested for hepatitis C, and 95 were treated.