“When I started doing this work, the people I cared about were dying from AIDS, hepatitis, and overdose. Many of the deaths related to injection drug use are preventable, so I wanted to help give people the tools they need to stay alive. A harm reduction program saved my life and helped support me without judgement, and I hope to be able to help people in the same way.”
Blue Valentine, CHW, is a Harm Reduction Peer Specialist that currently works as part of a cross-program team of communicable disease, health navigation, and harm reduction staff at the Benton County Health Department, as part of the End HIV Oregon Project. Her work includes street and camp outreach, rapid testing, syringe services, client advocacy, naloxone distribution, and HIV and STI education. She coordinates a regional harm reduction group for the Linn, Benton, Lincoln, and Siletz region that has a focus on overdose prevention and naloxone access. Blue is also a member of the Measure 110 Accountability and Oversight Council. She started working in harm reduction in Los Angeles in 1992, and has extensive experience providing HIV/STI prevention and testing and syringe services to diverse communities, including people who use drugs, people experiencing homelessness, sex workers, LGBTQ+ individuals, and people living with HIV.
Harm Reduction ECHO Program