Journal of Urban Health

, Volume 80, Issue 3, pp 438–454 | Cite as

Neighborhood differences in patterns of syringe access, use, and discard among injection drug users: Implications for HIV outreach and prevention education

  • David Buchanan
  • Susan Shaw
  • Wei Teng
  • Poppy Hiser
  • Merrill Singer
Original Articles: Various Topics


The article presents results from the Syringe Access, Use, and Discard: Context in AIDS Risk research project comparing two neighborhoods by (1) socioeconomic and demographic characteristics; (2) patterns of syringe access, use, and discard; and (3) encounters with a local human immunodeficiency viruslacquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) outreach project targeted to injection drug users (IDUs). The results show that IDUs in more economically advantaged neighborhoods were more likely to acquire syringes from a single source (rather than multiple sources), more likely to inject alone in their own residence (rather than public injection locales), and more likely to dispose of syringes in private garbage cans rather alleys or dumpsters. These results are further associated with the likelihood of encountering street outreach workers, with IDUs in more affluent neighborboods much less likely to have any such contacts. Based on the different patterns of access, use, and discard evident in each neighborhood, the results indicate that different and more carefully tailored local outreach and prevention strategies are urgently needed.


HIV/AIDS Injection drug use Neighborhood characteristics Socioeconomic status 


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Copyright information

© The New York Academy of Medicine 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Buchanan
    • 1
  • Susan Shaw
    • 2
  • Wei Teng
    • 2
  • Poppy Hiser
    • 1
  • Merrill Singer
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Public Health and Health ScienceUniversity of MassachusettsAmherst
  2. 2.Hispanic Health CouncilHartford

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