Sudden occurrences of blood disease carried onwards through reused injection equipment such as plungers, needles, cups and filters are causing more cities to apply for allowance of financing syringe exchange programs. My project is about safety and harm reduction amongst injection drug users through exchange. Except for retrieving old tools in exchange for new sterile ones, the systems allows for basic healthcare, testing for disease and a possible way into treatment. In towns where they have already been implemented, cases of reported diseases have been reduced drastically, but there is still a risk for hepatitis and HIV to spread due to re-usage. How can we implement a new solution in order to hinder blood from contaminating several parts and equipment from being lost or possibly harmful when carried between exchanges? Is there any way of changing the products themselves in order to restrain risk of contamination and take advantage of the possibility that comes with controlling what and how tools are handed out?
Inspiration and Method
The foundation of this project was set through interviews, observations and documentations carried out together with users, nurses, doctors and medical technicians. Extensive research in user habits has been made, in order to map social, practical and individual variations which in themselves effects what level of risk occurs. Other important aspects such as impact on society and cooperation between clinics as they start new practices throughout Sweden has been in focus, as well as creating a concept with necessary improvements adapted to match the behaviors of today’s users. The information gathered during research sessions has been processed and analyzed in order to assimilate important variables to be able to generate a substantial solution. Physical modeling and visualizations for evaluations have been important in order to try out my ideas together with included parties during the concept phase. By doing so, I have been able to reduce my many concepts into one solution, which has been evaluated towards a list of demands in order to become a valid result.0
In Case is a concept aimed at optimizing syringe exchange programs in their work towards preventing blood disease from spreading. It consists of two separate products, a case for carrying and a self destructive needle for restraining contamination. By providing the users with a safe way to carry their equipment, chances are better that the tools are always around when they need them. That way they never have to borrow or hurt themselves on loose tools lying around in a pocket. The case offers a way to suspend used needles and has room for three sets of tools, the same amount being handed out at the most recently opened exchange program in Stockholm. An applied feature to the needle hinders blood from ever being in contact with the plunger, thus leaving the plunger and all that it contacts during re-usage clean from contamination. A solution that also leads to fewer disposals compared to other designs where the entire tool is left destroyed. Together they lead to safer and more effective harm reduction.