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Gaceta Sanitaria

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BRAVO, María J.  and  ITINERE PROJECT GROUP et al. Access to sterile syringes among young drug injectors in Madrid and Barcelona and its association with risk behaviour. Gac Sanit [online]. 2008, vol.22, n.2, pp.128-132. ISSN 0213-9111.

Background and objective: To evaluate access to sterile syringes and its association with injection risk behaviour in Madrid and Barcelona. Materials and methods: Cross-sectional community study by computer-assisted personal interview in 465 young heroin injectors between 2001 and 2003. Results: Some 4.2% had not obtained any free sterile syringes in the previous 12 months. In Madrid 32.1% had obtained all their sterile syringes free of charge (ASSF), versus 44.6% in Barcelona (p < 0.01). Not sharing (not using syringes used by someone else and not front/backloading) was associated with obtaining ASSF (OR = 1.69) and with sporadic injection (OR = 1.83). Not reusing one's own syringes was associated with the same two variables (OR = 4.02 and OR = 2.50, respectively). Conclusions: Access to sterile syringes is very high in Madrid and Barcelona, although the two cities have different approaches. The acquisition of all syringes free of charge should be facilitated, especially among frequent injectors.

Keywords : Drug injection; Syringe exchange programmes; Risk behaviour; HIV.

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