Prescribing syringes to prevent HIV: A survey of infectious disease and addiction medicine physicians in Rhode Island

Josiah D. Rich, Tom L. Whitlock, Christopher W. Towe, Michelle McKenzie, Valgerdur Runarsdottir, Moses Aboagye-Kumi, Scott Burris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This article describes the assessment of physicians' attitudes and practices regarding prescribing syringes to injection drug users (IDUs). A brief, anonymous, self-administered questionnaire was sent to all Infectious Disease and Addiction Medicine specialists in Rhode Island. Of 49 eligible physicians, 39 responded (response rate 80%). Most (95%) indicated that there is a legitimate medical reason for IDUs to obtain sterile syringes. Many (71%) agreed that they would prescribe syringes to prevent disease in IDUs if it were clearly legal to do so. We can conclude that physician syringe prescription to IDUs may be an acceptable supplement to existing HIV prevention strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)535-550
Number of pages16
JournalSubstance Use and Misuse
Volume36
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 2001

Keywords

  • HIV/AIDS
  • Harm reduction
  • Injection drug users
  • Prescription
  • Syringe

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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