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Prevention/Epidemiology

More Frequent Participation in Needle-Exchange Programs Does Not Increase Risk of HIV Infection, Study Says

February 26, 2007

Contrary to an earlier study, more frequent participation in needle-exchange programs does not increase risk of HIV infection among injection drug users, according to a study published in the February issue of the American Journal of Medicine, Reuters Health reports. Evan Wood of the British Columbia Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS and colleagues examined possible associations between high HIV incidence and frequent use of a needle-exchange program in Vancouver, Canada. The study was designed to re-examine the results of an earlier study in Vancouver that found higher incidence of HIV infection among IDUs who more frequently used the needle-exchange program. The researchers found that in comparison with less frequent needle-exchange users, daily needle-exchange program attendees were more likely to be female; Aboriginal or American Indian; living in unsteady housing; involved in commercial sex work; and daily heroin or cocaine users. Almost all of these factors are associated with an increased risk of HIV transmission and explain the higher HIV incidence among more frequent users of needle-exchange programs found in the earlier study, according to the researchers. Needle-exchange programs have been shown to reduce HIV incidence, Wood said, adding that "another important goal they achieve is making contact with this often hidden population and providing a venue where drug users can be recruited into addiction treatment and other forms of care" (Boggs, Reuters Health, 2/21).

Online The study is available online.

Back to other news for February 26, 2007


Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, search the archives, or sign up for email delivery at www.kaisernetwork.org/dailyreports/hiv. The Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of the Kaiser Family Foundation, by The Advisory Board Company. © 2007 by The Advisory Board Company and Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.



  
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This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.
 
See Also
Ask Our Expert, David Fawcett, Ph.D., L.C.S.W., About Substance Use and HIV
Needle Exchange & HIV/AIDS: Canada

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