Blood-Borne Virus Risks with Intravenous (IV) Steroids and Other Drugs

Sharing used injecting equipment when injecting drugs, such as steroids, is the primary way that Hepatitis C can be transmitted.

To protect yourself and others from blood-borne viruses you should:

  1. Avoid sharing needles, syringes or other injecting equipment.  It is recommended that you use unused, sterile syringes and other injection equipment every time you inject. To help minimise the spread of blood-borne viruses the Crown funds the free Needle and Syringe Program through the Department of Health (Tasmania).
  2. Always wash your hands before and after injecting.
  3. Try to avoid injecting if you are under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.

If you think you may have had exposure to a BBV, you should make an appointment to see a doctor, or visit a Sexual Health Clinic, as soon as possible.

About the Needle and Syringe Program (NSP) in Tasmania

The Tasmanian Needle and Syringe Program (NSP) works to minimise the spread of blood-borne viruses through the provision of injecting equipment and ways to appropriately dispose of used injecting equipment.

The program operates throughout Tasmania and consists of Primary and Secondary Needle and Syringe Program (NSP) outlets, Community Pharmacy NSP outlets and NSP vending machines.

For a full list of all of the above types of outlets visit Anglicare Tasmania’s Needle and Syringe Program service page.

Primary NSPs

Primary NSP outlets provide free injecting equipment as well as:

  • health information and education
  • make referrals
  • liaise with local agencies such as health, drug treatment and welfare agencies
  • distribute sharps disposal container alcohol swabs, pill filters and sterile water for injection
  • services and education for the appropriate disposal of used injecting equipment
  • provide free take-home naloxone (anti-overdose medication) to people at risk of opioid-related overdose


Find a Primary NSP near you

Secondary NSPs

Secondary NSP Outlets operate within existing community and health organisations and:

  • distribute fit packs containing 1, 3 and 5ml syringes


Find a Secondary NSP near you

Community Pharmacy NSPs & Vending Machines

Community Pharmacy

Community Pharmacy NSP outlets supply fit packs containing 1, 3 and 5ml syringes for a fee.

Find a Community Pharmacy NSP near you


Vending Machines

NSP Vending machines supply fit packs containing 1, 3 and 5ml syringes for a fee.

Find an Vending Machine near you

Disposal of discarded needles and injecting equipment

Used needles and injecting equipment should be handled with care to avoid a needle stick injury and prevent the spread of blood-borne viruses.

Needle and Syringe Program staff provide encouragement and information to anyone using needles and other injecting equipment on how to safely dispose of used equipment.  However, if you find any discarded needles and other injecting equipment please follow the following guidelines on how to go about it safely.

Download instructions on Safe Retrieval and Disposal of Discarded Injecting Equipment.

Contact the BBVAware Program