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A needle and syringe programme (NSP), syringe-exchange programme (SEP), or needle exchange program (NEP) is a social service that allows injecting drug users (IDUs) to obtain hypodermic needles and associated paraphernalia at little or no cost. It is based on the philosophy of harm reduction that attempts to reduce the risk factors for diseases such as HIV/AIDS and hepatitis. While NSPs provide most or all equipment free of charge, exchange programmes require service users to return used syringes to receive an equal number of new syringes.A comprehensive 2004 study by the World Health Organization (WHO) found a "compelling case that NSPs substantially and cost effectively reduce the spread of HIV among IDUs and do so without evidence of exacerbating injecting drug use at either the individual or societal level." WHO's findings have also been supported by the American Medical Association (AMA), which in 2000 adopted a position strongly supporting NSPs when combined with addiction counseling.

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