The 130th Annual Meeting of APHA

4089.0: Tuesday, November 12, 2002 - Board 6

Abstract #47249

Legal status and syringe exchange program (SEP) clients' HIV risk, knowledge, use of ancillary services, and satisfaction: Preleminary results from the California SEP Study

Ricky N. Bluthenthal, PhD1, Rachel Anderson, BA2, Neil Flynn, MD, MPH2, Lynell Clancey2, Kathryn Anderson1, James G. Kahn, MD, MPH3, and Alex H. Kral, PhD4. (1) Health Program and DPRC, RAND, 1700 Main Street, PO Box 2138, Santa Monica, CA 90407, 310-393-0411 x6642,, (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

State law has permitted local Californian jurisdictions to legalize SEPs since 01/2000. Eighteen SEPs were legalized under this law. The aim of the present analysis is to determine whether the legal status of SEPs is associated with client-level HIV risk, knowledge, ancillary services use, and program satisfaction. To accomplish this, client data was collected from 6 illegal SEPs and 15 legal SEPs beginning in 2001. A total of 481 client interviews (134 illegal/347 legal) were available for this preliminary analysis. Methods: Bivariate statistics were conducted to examine if the following variables were associated with legal status of the SEP program the clients utilized: HIV risk, including receptive and distributive syringe sharing (30 days), and unprotected sex (6 months); HIV knowledge score on a 6-item test; receipt of various services at SEPs, including HIV, HBV, HCV testing; and satisfaction with SEP (6 items). Results: Sample characteristics are as follows: 33% female; 55% white, 17% African American, 21% Hispanic, 4% Native American; 45% homeless; 5% HIV positive; 19% under 30. Statistically significant differences were only detected for ancillary services utilization variables. Clients of legal SEPs were more likely to report receiving HIV, HBV, and HCV screening as well as safer sex education in the past 6 months at the SEP than clients of illegal SEPs. Clients of legal SEPs also reported utilizing the SEPs significantly more often then clients of illegal SEPs. Conclusion: SEP legalization appears associated with increased utilization and increased access to important ancillary health services for IDUs at SEPs.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of this presentation, participants will be able to

Keywords: HIV Interventions, Injection Drug Users

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