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Medical News

Distributive Syringe Sharing Among Young Adult Injection Drug Users in Five U.S. Cities

April 10, 2008

The sharing of needles and syringes is the most common way blood-borne pathogens such as HIV and hepatitis C virus (HCV) are transmitted among injection drug users (IDUs). "Distributive syringe sharing (DSS) (i.e., passing on a used needle/syringe to another IDU) poses the potential risk of transmitting HIV and viral hepatitis to others," the current study notes.

The researchers studied the prevalence and correlates of DSS among IDUs enrolled in a randomized behavioral intervention trial in five cities designed to reduce the behaviors linked to the risk of HIV and HCV transmission.

A total of 3,129 IDUs ages 15 to 30 completed the baseline visit. Of these, 1,432 (45.8 percent) reported having engaged in DSS in the three months preceding baseline. Factors found to be significant correlates of DSS were the perception that peer norms condone needle sharing, frequent injection, not accessing most needles via needle exchanges or pharmacies, injecting most often in shooting galleries and with sex partners, low perceived HIV risk from shared syringes, increased anxiety, low self-esteem, and engaging in unprotected sex.

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"Restricting to only those IDUs who reported not injecting with previously used syringes, similar independent correlates of DSS were found. These findings suggest that interventions to reduce ongoing transmission of blood-borne infections should focus on altering peer norms among networks of young IDUs," the authors concluded.

Back to other news for April 2008

Adapted from:
Drug and Alcohol Dependence
11.2007; Vol. 91; Supplement 1: P. S30-S38; Elizabeth T. Golub, Steffanie A. Strathdee, Susan L. Bailey, Holly Hagan, Mary H. Latka, Sharon M. Hudson, Richard S. Garfein, and for the DUIT Study Team


  
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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
 
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