, Volume 11, Issue 5, pp 652-662
Date: 12 Oct 2006

Safe Syringe Disposal is Related to Safe Syringe Access among HIV-positive Injection Drug Users

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We evaluated the effect of syringe acquisition on syringe disposal among HIV-positive injection drug users (IDUs) in Baltimore, New York City, and San Francisco (N = 680; mean age 42 years, 62% male, 59% African-American, 21% Hispanic, 12% White). Independent predictors of safe disposal were acquiring syringes through a safe source and ever visiting a syringe exchange program. Weaker predictors included living in San Francisco, living in the area longer, less frequent binge drinking, injecting with an HIV+ partner, peer norms supporting safe injection, and self-empowerment. Independent predictors of safe “handling”—both acquiring and disposing of syringes safely—also included being from New York and being older. HIV-positive IDUs who obtain syringes from a safe source are more likely to safely dispose; peer norms contribute to both acquisition and disposal. Interventions to improve disposal should include expanding sites of safe syringe acquisition while enhancing disposal messages, alternatives, and convenience.

The INSPIRE Study Group includes the following people. Baltimore: Carl Latkin, Amy Knowlton, Karin Tobin; Miami: Lisa Metsch, Eduardo Valverde, James Wilkinson, Martina DeVarona; New York: Mary, Latka, Dave Vlahov, Phillip Coffin, Marc Gourevitch, Julia Arnsten, Robert Gern; San Francisco: Cynthia Gomez, Kelly Knight, Carol Dawson Rose, Starley Shade, Sonja Mackenzie; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: David Purcell, Yuko Mizuno, Scott Santibanez, Richard Garfein, Ann O’Leary; Health Resources and Services Administration: Lois Eldred, Kathleen Handley.
The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.