Human Rights and Advocacy Officer at Harmless Project, Connie van Staden says when people engage in risky behaviour they have to be kept safe until they decide to change their lives.
Van Staden was responding to the needle exchange programme for heroine addicts in Pretoria.
Speaking on Morning Live he says when addicts decide they want to change, further assistance can be given to them.
Advocacy group Harmless Project has been distributing syringes to avoid the multiple use of the same needle, which leads to HIV infections, amongst other diseases.
Their research shows that the are 4 500 heroine users in Pretoria. Of those, 90% have hepatitis C and about 50% are HIV positive.
Van Staden says they meet addicts on the streets, under bridges and elsewhere.
They then collect old syringes and hand out new sterile ones.
For more on the interview watch below