Continued risky injection subsequent to syringe exchange use among injection drug users in New York City

Denise Paone, Don C. Des Jarlais, Stephanie Caloir, Benny Jose, Qiuhi Shi, Samuel R. Friedman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Although the vast majority of injection drug users (IDUs) attending syringe exchange programs in New York City have stopped risky injection (injecting with syringes used by someone else), there remains a subgroup of IDUs who continue to engage in high-risk injecting behaviors despite access to sterile syringes. Subjects were randomly recruited from five legally authorized syringe exchange programs in New York City between October 1992 and August 1994. Participants were asked about drug and sexual risk behavior 30 days prior to their first use of the syringe exchange as well as during the 30-day period prior to the interview while using the exchange. Of the 2465 participants, 77.4% reported no risky injection during the 30 days prior to using syringes exchange. For this analysis we included only those who reported risky injection for the 30-day period prior to using syringe exchange (N = 556). We compared sociodemographics and behavioral characteristics of a group who continued risky injection while using the syringe exchange, 'continuers,' N = 158 (28.8%) with a group who reported risky injection prior to using the exchange and then ceased risky injection while using the exchange, 'stoppers,' N = 391 (71.2%). Continuers were significantly more likely to report passing on dirty syringes to social network members and to inject cocaine at least daily. We present other predictors of continued risk and discuss the implications for interventions and make recommendations for syringe exchange programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)505-510
Number of pages6
JournalAIDS Education and Prevention
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 1997


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases

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