Other HIV-Related Laws in Massachusetts

Massachusetts law permits the Department of Public Health to establish needle exchange programs, but unfortunately requires "local approval" for the siting of a program.

Questions & Answers (Accurate as of November 3, 2011)

Needle Exchange and Syringe Access

Am I able to purchase syringes at a pharmacy without a prescription?

Yes. In 2006, Massachusetts passed a law allowing for pharmacies to sell syringes over the counter to anyone who is 18 years of age or older and decriminalizing possession of needles.21

Does Massachusetts have needle exchange programs?

Yes. Massachusetts law permits the Department of Public Health to establish needle exchange programs, but unfortunately requires “local approval” for the siting of a program.22 To date, only Boston, Cambridge, Northampton, and Provincetown have needle exchange programs.

Footnotes

21 M. G. L. c. 94c §27-27A
22 M. G. L. c.111 §215