Journal Article

Syringe Distribution to Injection Drug Users for Prevention of HIV Infection: Opinions and Practices of Health Care Providers in New York City

Phillip O. Coffin, Crystal Fuller, Shannon Blaney, Liza Vadnai, Sarah Miller and David Vlahov

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 38, issue 3, pages 438-441
Published in print February 2004 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online February 2004 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/381095
Syringe Distribution to Injection Drug Users for Prevention of HIV Infection: Opinions and Practices of Health Care Providers in New York City

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The Expanded Syringe Access Demonstration Program (ESAP), which was intended to increase access to syringes for injection drug users (IDUs), went into effect in New York State on 1 January 2001. ESAP allowed prescription-authorized health care providers to register to distribute syringes without a prescription. In spring 2002, we conducted a random postal survey of 1100 providers in New York City to evaluate involvement in ESAP and willingness to furnish IDUs with syringes. Among 363 nurse practitioners, physicians, and physician assistants responding, 16.9% knew about ESAP, and 2.0% believed they were registered; 50.5% would consider distributing syringes to patients who were IDUs. Most of those unwilling to distribute syringes were concerned about legal and moral issues. More respondents agreed that providers should prescribe syringes than distribute syringes (41.1% vs. 22.7%; P < .0001). These results suggest that many providers are willing to furnish IDUs with syringes but are unaware of the current law.

Journal Article.  2458 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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