Human Immunodeficiency Virus and Hepatitis C Virus Testing Services at Syringe Exchange Programs

Availability and Outcomes

Published in: Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, v. 32, no. 4, June 2007, p. 423-429

Posted on RAND.org on December 31, 2006

by Keith G. Heinzerling, Alex H. Kral, Neil M. Flynn, Rachel Anderson, Andrea Scott, Marylou Gilbert, Steven M. Asch, Ricky N. Bluthenthal

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The authors described the availability and outcomes of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) testing services at syringe exchange programs throughout California, using interviews with 24 syringe exchange program directors and 560 syringe exchange clients. Both HIV and HCV testing services were available in 62% of programs, 21% had HIV testing only, and 17% had neither. Programs administered by health care/social service providers were more likely than independent syringe exchange programs to have HIV and HCV testing services available. Among clients of programs with testing available, clients of illegal programs were significantly less likely than clients of legal programs to have used syringe exchange HIV and HCV testing services. The availability of HIV and HCV testing services at syringe exchange programs varies, and the use of existing testing services by clients is not universal. Efforts to increase both the availability of HIV and HCV testing services at syringe exchange programs and the use of existing testing services are needed.

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