From the very beginning of the epidemic, HIV infections have spread through injection drug use. The reality is that sharing syringes and drug injection equipment (like cookers, cottons, tourniquets) makes it easy for HIV and Hepatitis C (HCV) to be passed from one person to another.
The Minnesota AIDS Project offers an injection drug outreach program, called Mainline, that reduces the risk of getting HIV. We provide access to unused syringes, education, and HIV prevention and care services. Our syringe exchange program is the largest in the state. Each month, we distribute and collect approximately 20,000 syringes.
At the Mainline syringe exchange, we serve a growing number of people who inject drugs by providing sterile supplies, safe disposal, treatment referrals, and community referrals in a safe and nonjudgmental setting.
We also provide Naloxone, a life-saving opiate overdose reversal agent, during our Friday shifts from 10:30am-1pm. We also provide referrals for testing and and get you connected to services for HIV and Hepatitis C. Referrals for other resources for drug and alcohol dependency and social services are also available as needed.
Mainline services include:
- Syringe exchange and disposal
- Condoms, safer sex, and injection supplies to reduce the risk of getting and spreading HIV and Hepatitis C
- HIV and Hepatitis C counseling, testing and referrals
- Linkage to HIV and HCV medical care and services
- HIV and HCV risk reduction education and assessments
- Referrals for substance abuse treatment, support groups and basic needs
- Naloxone (Narcan) kits and training*
Monday and Thursday: 2pm - 4:30pm
Tuesday and Friday: 10:30am - 1pm
Walk-in HIV and Hepatitis C testing
The exchange is located at Gethsemane Church, 905 S 4th Avenue, Minneapolis, and is walk-in, first come, first served. Look for the signs and enter through the alleyway on 9th Street.
*Please note, if you are planning to receive Naloxone, please allow for 10-15 minutes for the intake and training process.
Rules about children
If you are an exchange client, and you bring children, they must be accompanied by another adult and remain in the lobby with adult supervision during the exchange.
Children under the age of 18 cannot enter the exchange room.
It is legal under Minnesota State law to purchase and possess clean, unused syringes.
The Minnesota AIDS Project works with community partners including the Minnesota Department of Health to engage pharmacies to promote syringe access. For more information, visit the Minnesota Department of Health's Minnesota Pharmacy/Syringe Access Initiative.
Please note that the cost of syringes may vary from $2.50 to $5.00/pack. Pharmacies also periodically change their policies regarding syringe access, and the pharmacist on duty may choose whether or not to participate in the program independent of the pharmacy’s policy. To help simplify the purchase process, please ask the person behind the counter if they are willing to sell you syringes. If the person you are speaking to is unsure, ask them to check with the pharmacist on duty to verify.
Naloxone or Narcan, is an easy-to-use, lifesaving drug that can prevent overdosing from heroin or other opioids. The medication has no abuse potential. In 2014, Minnesota unanimously passed Steve’s Law, which allows Minnesotans to carry Narcan. Narcan can be administered with basic training which we provide at Mainline.
Location: Gethsemane Church, 905 S 4th Avenue, Minneapolis
Please allow 10-15 minutes for a quick training regarding how to use Naloxone properly.