Document Detail

Secondary exchange of sterile injecting equipment in a high distribution environment: a mixed method analysis in south east Sydney, Australia.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  18693107     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
BACKGROUND: In Australia, sterile needles are distributed to people who inject drugs through formal services for the purposes of limiting the transmission of blood borne viruses (BBV). Secondary exchange (SE) involves people acquiring needles from formal services and redistributing them to others. This paper describes the extent, patterns and contexts of SE in south east Sydney, Australia and examines whether SE is independently associated with BBV risk practices. METHODS: Quantitative and qualitative data were collected through a cross-sectional study using surveys and in-depth interviews. Respondents were people using community-based pharmacies to obtain sterile needles and syringes. RESULTS: Data were collected from 229 survey respondents, over half of whom (54%) reported SE in the previous month. Of these, 40% engaged in distribution only, 25% in receipt only and 36% in both. Respondents reported passing on 21.7% of their needles to others in the last month, most commonly to friends (51.6%) and partners (27.4%). Recipients of SE were four times more likely than non-secondary exchangers to report borrowing used syringes in the last month. Respondents reported supplying sterile equipment to others to prevent reuse and to reduce risks associated with unplanned drug use. CONCLUSION: SE is a common activity in south east Sydney but does not appear to be highly organised, usually taking place in small networks of friends and/or partners for altruistic reasons. Harm reduction programs could capitalise on the prevalence of SE to reach injecting drug users who do not use formal distribution services.
Joanne Bryant; Max Hopwood
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't     Date:  2008-08-08
Journal Detail:
Title:  The International journal on drug policy     Volume:  20     ISSN:  1873-4758     ISO Abbreviation:  Int. J. Drug Policy     Publication Date:  2009 Jul 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2009-05-11     Completed Date:  2009-08-20     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9014759     Medline TA:  Int J Drug Policy     Country:  Netherlands    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  324-8     Citation Subset:  IM    
National Centre in HIV Social Research, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia.
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MeSH Terms
Cross-Sectional Studies
Middle Aged
Needle-Exchange Programs / methods,  statistics & numerical data*
Social Environment*
Substance Abuse, Intravenous / psychology*

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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