Most vending machines are full of things — like soda and candy — that can contribute to health problems. But Las Vegas is hoping its new vending machines can help its drug using-population avoid additional ones.
By the end of May, Las Vegas will have debuted three new vending machines that dispense clean needles. They hope to keep drug users who get their fix via syringe from contracting diseases by reusing needles that could carry bloodborne infections. HIV, hepatitis C and other diseases can be transmitted when needles are used repeatedly.
The machines resemble an average vending machine but will instead dispense kits of clean needles and disposal containers for used ones. There will also be wound cleaning and safe sex kits. The machines will be available in three separate organizations that all work with drug users.