In almost all cases, syringes provided through a Syringe Exchange Program are single-use only meaning they ‘burr’ when used more than once. However, if syringe sharing is a reality, it is best to clean syringes with bleach
amfAR Order “Bottles- 1 oz Bleach Bottles” Item # 5502BN/WHT and “Caps for Bleach and Water Bottle” Item # CAPS/WHITE/1700
Programs will need to fill up bottles with bleach they have purchased, bleach bottles ordered through amfAR do not come pre-filled.
Information taken directly from “Guide to Developing and Managing Syringe Access Programs” by Harm Reduction Coalition, 2010
Bleach kits contain small, portable vials of full-strength bleach and water to be used in cleaning surfaces as well as used syringes and cookers.
There is debate over the distribution of bleach kits. Although bleach has been proven effective in killing HIV in syringes when used properly, research has been inconclusive regarding its effectiveness in killing HCV, and it is more likely that bleach is NOT effective 100% of the time. However, success rates for killing HCV have most recently been put above the 90th percentile. That said, there is a legitimate fear that making bleach kits available to injectors gives a false impression that bleached syringes will be safe and will not transmit infection. Recognizing that adequate injection supplies may not be available at all times, bleach kits can be one tool along a continuum of tools used for reducing risk (i.e., it is less risky to use a bleached syringe than one that has not been bleached through a sterile syringe is preferred above all).