Other HIV-Related Laws in Rhode Island

Under Rhode Island law, a pharmacy may sell hypodermic needles and syringes. Possession of a hypodermic needle is no longer illegal in Rhode Island.

Questions & Answers (Accurate as of May 13, 2014)

Needle Exchange Programs

Does Rhode Island laws provide for access to clean needles for injection drug users to prevent HIV transmission?

Yes, under Rhode Island law, a pharmacy may sell hypodermic needles and syringes.  Possession of a hypodermic needle is no longer illegal in Rhode Island.79

Rhode Island law also mandates that the Department of Health maintain a program of needle and syringe exchange for persons 18 and older in order to prevent the transmission of HIV among intravenous drug users.  Any site used in the program shall make available educational materials, HIV counseling and testing, and referral services regarding HIV transmission and drug abuse prevention and treatment.80

Footnotes

79 RI ST 21-28-4.04
80 RI ST 23-11-19