Organizational issues in the implementation of a hospital-based syringe exchange program

Carmen L. Masson, James L. Sorensen, Nina Grossman, Karl A. Sporer, Don C. Des Jarlais, David C. Perlman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Little published information exists to guide health care institutions in establishing syringe exchange program (SEP) services. To address this gap, this article discusses organizational issues encountered in the implementation of a hospital-based SEP in San Francisco, California (USA). Investigators collaborated with a community organization in implementing a county hospital-based SEP. SEP services integrated into a public hospital presented unique challenges directly related to their status as a health care institution. In the course of introducing SEP services into a hospital setting as part of a clinical trial, various ethical, legal, and logistical issues were raised. Based on these experiences, this paper provides guidance on how to integrate an SEP into a traditional health care institution.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)901-915
Number of pages15
JournalSubstance Use and Misuse
Issue number6
StatePublished - Mar 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • HIV
  • Hospital
  • Injection drug use
  • Organizational
  • Syringe exchange


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