This study analyzed factors associated with utilization of needle exchange programs (NEPs) by young injection drug users (IDUs). Between 1997–1999, 700 IDUs 18–30 years of age were surveyed in Chicago. The majority of study participants (65%) had not used an NEP in the 6 months preceding baseline. Frequent NEP users were least likely to share needles (odds ratio [OR] = 0.32; 95% CI = 0.19–0.54) or other injection equipment (OR = 0.51; CI = 0.30–0.85), or to reuse their own needles (OR = 0.25, CI = 0.13–0.45), and were most likely to use condoms with steady sex partners (OR = 2.95; CI = 1.56–5.56). This study found that while frequent NEP use was associated with less risk behavior, young IDUs used NEPs infrequently or not at all.
From the Division of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Community Outreach Intervention Projects, School of Public Health, University of Illinois at Chicago, Illinois, and Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, National Center for HIV, STD, TB Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia (Dr Garfein).
Manuscript received February 14, 2002; accepted September 20, 2002.
Supported by grant number U64/CCU509678 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Address correspondence to Susan L. Bailey, University of Illinois at Chicago, School of Public Health, 1603 West Taylor Street, Chicago, IL 60612. E-mail: email@example.com
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