Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Public Health


Health Science and Human Ecology

First Reader/Committee Chair

Verissimo, Angie. MPH, PH.D.


Objective: Needle exchange programs are designed to educate injection drug users of healthy drug behaviors and establish a controlled environment to prevent blood-borne diseases through clean needles and provide treatment to reduce blood-borne diseases and become drug-free. This study observed the prevalence of blood-borne diseases among injection drug users as well as the general population. The study used publicly available data of drug use to assess differences by race/ethnicity, and participation in needle exchange programs.

Methods: Quantitative methods were used with the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Analysis began with descriptive statistics, followed by regression analyses to understand the association between (1) injection drug use and HIV/AIDs, (2) involvement in needle exchange programs and HIV/AIDs among injection drug users, and (3) race/ethnicity and HIV/AIDs among injection drug users. Results: Results demonstrated a positive relationship between injection drug use and HIV/AIDs as well as a positive relationship between HIV/AIDs and involvement in a needle exchange program. Race/ethnicity was not associated with HIV/AIDs among injection drug users. Conclusion: The results of the study highlight the need to further research injection drug users and how they may be at increased risk for blood-borne diseases such as HIV/AIDs. In addition, the results emphasize the importance of needle exchange programs as they may be the only source of care for injection drug users.