Syringe laws and pharmacy regulations are structural constraints on HIV prevention in the US

Citation
Ja. Taussig et al., Syringe laws and pharmacy regulations are structural constraints on HIV prevention in the US, AIDS, 14, 2000, pp. S47-S51
Citations number
27
Language
INGLESE
art.tipo
Article
Categorie Soggetti
Immunology
Journal title
AIDS
ISSN journal
0269-9370 → ACNP
Volume
14
Year of publication
2000
Supplement
1
Pages
S47 - S51
Database
ISI
SICI code
0269-9370(200006)14:<S47:SLAPRA>2.0.ZU;2-2
Abstract
Objective: To review the legal and regulatory barriers that restrict pharma cy sales of syringes to injection drug users (IDUs) and to discuss how redu cing these barriers can facilitate access to sterile syringes for IDUs and improve HIV prevention. Background: IDUs' access to sterile syringes from community pharmacies in t he United States is limited by stale laws and regulations governing syringe sales. Restricted availability of sterile syringes from pharmacies is a st ructural barrier that greatly impedes HIV prevention for IDUs, who often sh are and reuse syringes because they cannot obtain and possess sterile syrin ges. These high-risk behaviors contribute to the transmission of HIV and ot her blood-borne pathogens among IDUs, their sexual partners, and their chil dren. State experiences: In Connecticut, because of high HIV prevalence among IDU s, restrictive syringe laws were changed. After the legal changes in Connec ticut, both pharmacy sales of syringes in areas of high drug use and pur ch ases of syringes in pharmacies (reported by IDUs) increased, while syringe sharing (reported by IDUs) decreased. Maine and Minnesota have made similar changes in laws. Conclusions: Increasing access to sterile syringes through pharmacies requi res the repeal or modification of legal barriers. Pharmacy sale of syringes to IDUs is an inexpensive HIV prevention intervention with the potential t o substantially reduce HIV transmission. Further studies are needed to docu ment how changes to legal barriers can influence HIV prevention for IDUs. ( C) 2000 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.