Needle sharing has long been recognized as a primary route of HIV infection. However, recent research has shown that HIV antibody is also detectable in injection supplies other than needles. In this study we tested frequency of attendance at a Providence, Rhode Island, needle exchange program (NEP) as a correlate of injection risk indicators including not just sharing needles but also sharing cookers, sharing cotton filters, cleaning the skin before injecting, and using bleach as a needle disinfectant. Results showed that drug users who attended the NEP less frequently were more likely to report needle sharing, less likely to report always cleaning their skin, and more likely to report sharing cookers. The Providence NEP is one at which alcohol swabs and cookers are distributed along with clean needles. Our results suggest that NEPs represent a valuable and underexploited opportunity to promote risk reduction efforts beyond the avoidance of needle sharing. NEPs should be distributing risk reduction supplies in addition to clean needles and should adopt strategies (e.g., outreach and more days/hours of operation) to encourage frequent attendance.
Originally published in: AIDS Education and Prevention, v. 13, no. 1, February 2001, pp. 78-90.
This report is part of the RAND Corporation Reprint series. The Reprint was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1992 to 2011 that represented previously published journal articles, book chapters, and reports with the permission of the publisher. RAND reprints were formally reviewed in accordance with the publisher's editorial policy and compliant with RAND's rigorous quality assurance standards for quality and objectivity. For select current RAND journal articles, see External Publications.
This document and trademark(s) contained herein are protected by law. This representation of RAND intellectual property is provided for noncommercial use only. Unauthorized posting of this publication online is prohibited; linking directly to this product page is encouraged. Permission is required from RAND to reproduce, or reuse in another form, any of its research documents for commercial purposes. For information on reprint and reuse permissions, please visit www.rand.org/pubs/permissions.
The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.