SANA Needle Exchange Program: Attendance and Response to HIV-related Interventions among Participants
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Aims To examine the relationship between Needle Exchange Program (NEP) attendance and self-reported responses to HIV-related interventions among participants in Lane County, Oregon. Design and setting Between December 2007 and May 2008, 86 out of about 150 (57%) injection drug users (IDUs) participated in this project in Eugene, OR. All participants were exposed to prevention services targeting HIV and drug abuse. Measurements Length and frequency of program attendance were tested as a correlate of injection practices including whether sharing needles at last time of injection; how many sharing partners they had in the last month; and prevention services participants have accessed since participating in the program. Findings 100% of respondents reported obtaining needles from the NEP. Only 1.2% reported getting referrals. Testing and vaccinations services accessed by respondents, and the number of sharing partners in the last month were significantly related to length of NEP attendance. Our results imply that the NEP represents valuable risk-reduction efforts targeting IDUs when participants use the program for 6 months or longer. The NEP should continue distributing needles and supplies to participants and reach out to more IDUs. The NEP should also adopt more effective strategies to encourage longer and consistent NEP attendance.