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November 26, 2008

Syringe Access and HIV Incidence in the United States

JAMA. 2008;300(20):2370. doi:10.1001/jama.2008.707

To the Editor: In their discussion of new estimates of incidence of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in the United States, Dr Hall and colleagues1 note that the rate of new HIV infections directly attributed to injection drug use has decreased by approximately 80% and continues to decline, citing the role of increased syringe access through needle exchange programs and pharmacies in reducing needle sharing among drug injectors. These revised HIV incidence figures provide further corroboration of the literature documenting that injection drug users successfully reduce needle sharing and related injection risk behaviors when provided access to appropriate education and safer injection tools, including syringe access.2