Journal of Urban Health

, Volume 90, Issue 6, pp 1079–1090

Factors Associated with Presence of Pharmacies and Pharmacies that Sell Syringes Over-the-Counter in Los Angeles County

  • Thomas J. Stopka
  • Estella M. Geraghty
  • Rahman Azari
  • Ellen B. Gold
  • Kathryn DeRiemer


Community pharmacies serve as key locations for public health services including interventions to enhance the availability of syringes sold over-the-counter (OTC), an important strategy to prevent injection-mediated HIV transmission. Little is known about the community characteristics associated with the availability of pharmacies and pharmacies that sell syringes OTC. We conducted multivariable regression analyses to determine whether the sociodemographic characteristics of census tract residents were associated with pharmacy presence in Los Angeles (LA) County during 2008. Using a geographic information system, we conducted hot-spot analyses to identify clusters of pharmacies, OTC syringe-selling pharmacies, sociodemographic variables, and their relationships. For LA County census tracts (N = 2,054), population size (adjusted odds ratio [AOR], 1.22; 95 % confidence interval [CI], 1.16, 1.28), median age of residents (AOR, 1.03; 95 % CI, 1.01, 1.05), and the percent of households receiving public assistance (AOR, 0.97; 95 % CI, 0.94, 0.99) were independently associated with the presence of all pharmacies. Only 12 % of census tracts had at least one OTC syringe-selling pharmacy and sociodemographic variables were not independently associated with the presence of OTC syringe-selling pharmacies. Clusters of pharmacies (p < 0.01) were located proximally to clusters of older populations and were distant from clusters of poorer populations. Our combined statistical and spatial analyses provided an innovative approach to assess the sociodemographic and geographic factors associated with the presence of community pharmacies and pharmacies that participate in OTC syringe sales.


Pharmacies Syringe access HIV prevention GIS Health policy 

Supplementary material

11524_2013_9798_MOESM1_ESM.docx (14 kb)
ESM 1(DOCX 14 kb)


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Copyright information

© The New York Academy of Medicine 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas J. Stopka
    • 1
  • Estella M. Geraghty
    • 1
    • 2
  • Rahman Azari
    • 1
  • Ellen B. Gold
    • 1
  • Kathryn DeRiemer
    • 1
  1. 1.Graduate Group in Epidemiology, Department of Public Health SciencesUniversity of California, DavisDavisUSA
  2. 2.Department of Internal MedicineUniversity of California, DavisSacramentoUSA

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