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Trend Analyses of Users of a Syringe Exchange Program in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: 1999–2014

Abstract

This study examines trends of injection drug users’ (IDUs) use of a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, syringe exchange program (SEP) from 1999 to 2014, including changes in demographics, drug use, substance abuse treatment, geographic indicators, and SEP use. Prevention Point Philadelphia’s SEP registration data were analyzed using linear regression, Pearson’s Chi square, and t-tests. Over time new SEP registrants have become younger, more racially diverse, and geographically more concentrated in specific areas of the city, corresponding to urban demographic shifts. The number of new registrants per year has decreased, however syringes exchanged have increased. Gentrification, cultural norms, and changes in risk perception are believed to have contributed to the changes in SEP registration. Demographic changes indicate outreach strategies for IDUs may need adjusting to address unique barriers for younger, more racially diverse users. Implications for SEPs are discussed, including policy and continued ability to address current public health threats.

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Acknowledgments

Robert Krafty has Grant support through the National Institutes of Health (R01GM113243).

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Correspondence to Laurie A. Maurer.

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Maurer, L.A., Bass, S.B., Ye, D. et al. Trend Analyses of Users of a Syringe Exchange Program in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: 1999–2014. AIDS Behav 20, 2922–2932 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10461-016-1393-y

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10461-016-1393-y

Keywords

  • Syringe exchange program
  • Injection drug users
  • HIV
  • HCV
  • Trend analysis