The full content of Annals is available to subscribers

Subscribe/Learn More  >
Ideas and Opinions |

Physician Prescribing of Sterile Injection Equipment To Prevent HIV Infection: Time for Action

Scott Burris, JD; Peter Lurie, MD, MPH; Daniel Abrahamson, JD; and Josiah D. Rich, MD, MPH
[+] Article, Author, and Disclosure Information

Copyright ©2004 by the American College of Physicians

Ann Intern Med. 2000;133(3):218-226. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-133-3-200008010-00015
Text Size: A A A

Injection drug users, their sex partners, and their children are at high risk for acquiring HIV infection and other bloodborne diseases. The risk for disease transmission in the United States is partly the result of restricted access to sterile injection equipment. Physicians and pharmacists can play an important role in providing syringe access by prescribing and dispensing syringes to patients who use injection drugs and cannot or will not enter drug treatment. Prescribing and dispensing injection equipment are ethical, clinically appropriate, and fully consistent with current public health guidelines on disease prevention. An analysis of the laws of the 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico finds that physicians in nearly all these jurisdictions may legally prescribe sterile injection equipment to prevent disease transmission among drug-using patients and that pharmacists in most states have a clear or reasonable legal basis for filling the prescriptions. Given these medical and legal findings, physicians may wish to take a larger role in improving access to sterile injection equipment by prescribing this equipment for their patients where this practice is legal, and by joining efforts to change the law where it poses a barrier.





Citing articles are presented as examples only. In non-demo SCM6 implementation, integration with CrossRef’s "Cited By" API will populate this tab (http://www.crossref.org/citedby.html).


Submit a Comment/Letter
Submit a Comment/Letter

Summary for Patients

Clinical Slide Sets

Terms of Use

The In the Clinic® slide sets are owned and copyrighted by the American College of Physicians (ACP). All text, graphics, trademarks, and other intellectual property incorporated into the slide sets remain the sole and exclusive property of the ACP. The slide sets may be used only by the person who downloads or purchases them and only for the purpose of presenting them during not-for-profit educational activities. Users may incorporate the entire slide set or selected individual slides into their own teaching presentations but may not alter the content of the slides in any way or remove the ACP copyright notice. Users may make print copies for use as hand-outs for the audience the user is personally addressing but may not otherwise reproduce or distribute the slides by any means or media, including but not limited to sending them as e-mail attachments, posting them on Internet or Intranet sites, publishing them in meeting proceedings, or making them available for sale or distribution in any unauthorized form, without the express written permission of the ACP. Unauthorized use of the In the Clinic slide sets will constitute copyright infringement.


Buy Now for $32.00

to gain full access to the content and tools.

Want to Subscribe?

Learn more about subscription options

Related Articles
Related Point of Care
Topic Collections
PubMed Articles
Forgot your password?
Enter your username and email address. We'll send you a reminder to the email address on record.