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Am J Public Health. 2015 Jun;105(6):1066-71. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2015.302581. Epub 2015 Apr 16.

Using Pharmacies in a Structural Intervention to Distribute Low Dead Space Syringes to Reduce HIV and HCV Transmission in People Who Inject Drugs.

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Christine U. Oramasionwu and Terence L. Johnson are with the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. William A. Zule is with the Substance Abuse Treatment Evaluations and Interventions Program, RTI International, Research Triangle Park, NC. Jessica Carda-Auten is with the UNC Center for AIDS Research and the UNC Institute for Global Health and Infectious Diseases, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Carol E. Golin is with the Gillings School of Global Public Health and the School of Medicine, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.


Ongoing injection drug use contributes to the HIV and HCV epidemics in people who inject drugs. In many places, pharmacies are the primary source of sterile syringes for people who inject drugs; thus, pharmacies provide a viable public health service that reduces blood-borne disease transmission. Replacing the supply of high dead space syringes with low dead space syringes could have far-reaching benefits that include further prevention of disease transmission in people who inject drugs and reductions in dosing inaccuracies, medication errors, and medication waste in patients who use syringes. We explored using pharmacies in a structural intervention to increase the uptake of low dead space syringes as part of a comprehensive strategy to reverse these epidemics.

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