HEPPAC began in 1992 as immediate response to the HIV epidemic among people who inject drugs in Alameda County. A group of community organizers, including AIDS activists, health care providers, active substance users and other public health workers gathered to develop a needle exchange program in Oakland. The journey of syringe exchange in Alameda County began with activism, education, epidemiological studies and advocates from public health stepping up and speaking out. This led to local politicians willing to learn and understand the value of community health, including the cost effective factor of syringe exchange when considering the entire spectrum of interventions to curb the HIV and Hepatitis C epidemics.
Over the past 15 years, HEPPAC has developed and established a comprehensive program with the aim to increase protective behaviors in our community. We are committed to challenging stigmas and normalizing awareness regarding HIV/AIDS in all communities. HEPPAC remains committed to reduce the further spread of HIV and Hepatitis C and serve as a point of access to medical care and substance use treatment in our community.