The Impact of Syringe Exchange Programs on Hepatitis C in Injection Drug Users

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Title: The Impact of Syringe Exchange Programs on Hepatitis C in Injection Drug Users
Author: Kaigh, Caroline
Advisor: Owen, Judy; Edwards, Kaye
Department: CPGC: 2009 Summer Intern, Conferences/Workhops
Department: Haverford College. Independent College Programs
Type: Thesis (B.A.)
Issue Date: 2011
Abstract: This work examines hepatitis C among injection drug users in the United States. Injection drug users are particularly vulnerable to hepatitis C infection because of the efficiency of viral transmission through blood-to-blood contact. I assert that syringe exchange programs, which have been an otherwise highly effective public health intervention, must do more to reduce the burden of hepatitis C on injection drug users. While syringe exchange programs have been successful at reducing the transmission of HIV through encouraging injection drug users to abstain from sharing needles, hepatitis C continues to spread among injection drug users. Original research conducted at Prevention Point of Philadelphia, Philadelphia’s only syringe exchange program, attempted to determine routes of transmission driving the continuing epidemic of hepatitis C among injection drug users. This research also demonstrated that hepatitis C knowledge in the injection drug using community is incomplete, indicating the need for syringe exchange programs to make education about hepatitis C more available to injection drug users. Through an examination of the relationship between hepatitis C, injection drug users, and syringe exchange programs, this thesis argues that syringe exchange programs are uniquely poised to make a significant contribution to the eradication of hepatitis C and the protection of the health of injection drug users.
Subject: Intravenous drug abusers -- Diseases -- Prevention
Subject: Hepatitis C -- Prevention
Subject: Needle exchange programs
Subject: Needle exchange programs -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia
Subject: Prevention Point Philadelphia
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2011KaighC_thesis.pdf Thesis (Haverford and Bryn Mawr users only) 742.9Kb PDF
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Kaigh, Caroline. "The Impact of Syringe Exchange Programs on Hepatitis C in Injection Drug Users". 2011. Available electronically from

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