The 130th Annual Meeting of APHA

4089.0: Tuesday, November 12, 2002 - Board 3

Abstract #47239

Gender differences in syringe exchange program utilization and syringe relay patterns

Kara S. Riehman, PhD1, Ricky N. Bluthenthal, PhD1, Kathryn Anderson1, Rachel Anderson, BA2, Lynell Clancey2, Neil Flynn, MD, MPH2, James G. Kahn, MD, MPH3, and Alex H. Kral, PhD4. (1) Drug Policy Research Center, RAND, PO Box 2138, 1700 Main Street, Santa Monica, CA 90407-2138, 310-393-0411, x. 7316,, (2) Infectious Diseases, UC Davis, 4150 V St., Suite 500, Sacramento, CA 95817, (3) Institute for Health Policy Studies, University of California, San Francisco, Box 0936, San Francisco, CA 94143, (4) Urban Health Study, University of California, San Francisco, Box 1304, San Francisco, CA 94143-1304

Syringe exchange program (SEP) use involving syringe relay (i.e., exchanging syringes for other injection drug users [IDUs]) may be associated with greater HIV risk, especially for women. This may be due to syringe sharing among network members, including sex partners, or to other factors like frequency of SEP use or syringe sharing. We examine whether gender differences in syringe relay is related to having an IDU sexual partner, SEP utilization patterns or other factors. Methods: 479 ethnically diverse IDUs (158 women and 321 men) attending 21 SEPs in 14 California counties were recruited in 2001. Results: Forty-six percent of women and 31% of men report syringe relay. There is no gender difference in frequency of SEP use. Logistic regression models indicate women are 1.7 times more likely to relay syringes, but this becomes insignificant when adjusting for partner IDU status. SEP frequency is not related to syringe relay. Separate multivariate logistic regression models by gender indicate men with IDU compared to non-IDU partners are 2.8 times more likely to relay syringes; however, among women, there is no difference in syringe relay between those with IDU compared to non-IDU partners. For men, greater frequency of injection is related to relay, while for women, distributing used injection equipment to others is associated with relay. Conclusion: While men may engage in syringe relay for intimate partners, women may relay for other network members as well. Syringe relay may be associated with other injecting practices, though the relationship may differ by gender.

Learning Objectives: Attendees at this session will be able to

Keywords: Gender, Syringe Exchange

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 II

The 130th Annual Meeting of APHA