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J Urban Health. 2004 Mar;81(1):118-21.

Public funding of US syringe exchange programs.

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Beth Israel Medical Center, 1st Avenue & 16th Street, New York, NY 10003, USA.


Although there has been no federal government funding of syringe exchange, there is substantial state and local government funding. We report here on program characteristics associated with receiving state and local government funding. Annual telephone surveys were made of program directors of syringe exchange programs known to the North American Syringe Exchange Network. The number of syringe exchange programs known to this network has increased from 63 in 1994-1995 to 127 in 2000. Approximately 80% of programs participated in each of the surveys. Approximately 50% of programs receive state and local government funding, and this has remained constant from 1994 to 2000. Receiving state and local government funding was associated with larger numbers of syringes exchanged per year and providing more on-site services. Among programs that received state or local government funding, this funding accounted for a mean of 87% of the budget for syringe exchange services. In the absence of federal funding, state and local government support is associated with better syringe exchange performance.

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