The 130th Annual Meeting of APHA

4088.0: Tuesday, November 12, 2002 - Board 8

Abstract #43504

Needle exchange attitudes and practices among IDUs in Long Beach, CA

Michele M. Wood, MS, Jennifer A. Klahn, MA, Michael A. Janson, BA, Grace L. Reynolds, DPA(c), and Dennis G. Fisher, PhD. Center for Behavioral Research & Services, California State University, Long Beach, 1090 Atlantic Avenue, Long Beach, CA 90813, (562) 495-2330, ext. 111,

INTRODUCTION: A pilot study is being conducted to inform needle exchange program (NEP) development in Long Beach, CA. METHODS: 80 participants (36% Black, 36% White, 24% Hispanic, 4% Other; M age=45.37 years, SD=9.54) were sampled from a pool of IDUs who participated in an earlier study where IDU status was confirmed through urine testing or track mark inspection. RESULTS: 15% of participants were on local pharmacy regular customer lists. 61% had purchased/obtained syringes from someone with a prescription in the past 6 months, while only 6% had purchased or attempted to purchase a NS from a pharmacy/other business. Usual syringe sources included a diabetic acquaintance (48%), neighbors/friends (26%), street dealers (17%), family member (5%), NEP (3%), and pharmacies (1%); only 13% had ever gotten needles from an NEP. 29% had used a syringe that had been used by someone else (past 30 days). 12% had been arrested or hassled by police for carrying a needle or syringe (past 6 months). Being “hassled” by police was the primary concern regarding NEP participation (56%), followed by not trusting NEP staff (44%), and being seen by acquaintances (13%). Participants held positive attitudes toward needle exchange: M=4.58, SD=1.04, 1=bad for drug users, 5=good for drug users; M=3.98, SD=1.46, 1=bad for community, 5=good for community; M=4.47, SD=1.16, 1=unsafe, 5=safe; M=4.41, SD=1.51, 1=bad source of HIV information, 5=good source of HIV information. DISCUSSION: Long Beach IDUs have high need for, but little experience with NEPs. Efforts should be made to ameliorate concerns regarding NEP participation.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the session, the participant in this session will be able to

Keywords: Injecting Drug Use, HIV/AIDS

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Special Populations and Substance Abuse Poster Session I

The 130th Annual Meeting of APHA