An Introduction to the b-Safe Protocol
The Harm Reduction approach to drugs is based on a strong commitment to public health and human rights.
It is a targeted approach that focuses on specific risks and harms.
Although abstinence can be considered difficult to achieve but the desirable option for harm reduction, keeping people who use drugs alive and preventing irreparable damage should be regarded as the most urgent priority.
Feasible options must be sought out as part of any recovery process.
The best first step in a harm reduction effort is to provide the means for injection drug users (IDUs) to obtain clean equipment.
When this is not an option, proper cleaning of existing syringes should be advocated. The recommended cleaning procedure for a pre-used syringe is to use a bleach disinfectant.
The Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) is probably one of the toughest pathogens to eliminate. In a recent study(7) it was found that bleach(8) is the best disinfectant for syringe cleaning.
Let's look at the recommended procedure.(9) The device should first be rinsed with water to remove blood and other organic material. Then rinsed with bleach and finally rinsed again with clean water to remove the bleach.
Until now, this method although highly recommended,
usually gets abandoned because of the time and
inconvenience in following the steps.
b-Safe Products introduces the 123pack
the first step to our protocol
The 123 Pack is a small prepackaged container, about the size of a U.S.Quarter, that has the three needed liquids to help disinfect a needle/syringe interior.
To use, the needle punctures the top seal to draw in the liquids.
As with the recommended procedure(9), shaken and dispensed in order.
This part of the protocol should remove a very large percentage of contaminants, but it has been found that small amounts of infected fluids can be caught in the second chamber, behind the top of the syringe plunger.
So even when performing the bleach disinfection, the threat remains high that harmful infection could still be contracted.
To alleviate this possibility, b-Safe Products has developed the HR-100 Syringe Sanitizer
The b-Safe HR-100 is a non-descript small box resembling an eyeglass case. Within the case is a UVC Lamp System that, through design, should eliminate up to 99% of the infectious viruses hidden on the syringe plunger and needle exterior. The short wavelength of UVC Light has been proven to break apart germ DNA, making them inactive to transfer.
Once the syringe has been bleach cleaned, the plunger is removed. It and the syringe are then placed into the designated spaces of the b-Safe case. The start button is pushed and for approximately 5 minutes the pieces are exposed to UVC light, aiding in the disinfection of the needle and plunger. Upon completion the device can be re-assembled for use.
The case features a mesh pouch in the upper half to conveniently hold 123 Packs. Being only 7"x2.5"x1.5" in size, it can discretely be placed in a pocket or purse. The unit runs on three replaceable AAA batteries. The case zips closed so nothing is accidentally revealed.
(7) "The disinfection of contaminated syringes with the hepatitis C virus."
(8) WA, Weber, DJ. "Guidelines for disinfection and sterilization in health centers". Washington, DC: Center for Disease Control (USA) 2008
(9) "Cleaning of your Works" Coalition for Positive Sexuality 1997