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AIDS Educ Prev. 2003 Jun;15(3):257-68.

A meta-analysis of needle sharing, lending, and borrowing behaviors of needle exchange program attenders.

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Center for AIDS Intervention Research, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine, Medical College of Wisconsin, 2071 North Summit Avenue, Milwaukee, WI 53202, USA.


This study used meta-analysis to examine cumulatively needle exchange program (NEP) change/comparison data from 47 studies between 1988 and 2001, based on data collected between 1986 and 1997. The research question posed was: Is NEP attendance associated with reductions in risky needle-related behaviors? Results indicated that needle sharing (r = -.189), variations on the outcome measure of needle sharing (r = -.161), and needle lending/borrowing (r = -.194) consistently declined among NEP attenders, suggesting the NEPs are effective in reducing risky needle-related behaviors of IDUs. The meta-analytic results lend support to the harm-reduction philosophy often used as the rationale for the establishment and maintenance of NEPs.

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