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Revista Española de Sanidad Penitenciaria

On-line version ISSN 2013-6463Print version ISSN 1575-0620


FERRER-CASTRO, V. et al. Evaluation of needle exchange program at Pereiro de Aguiar prison (Ourense, Spain): ten years of experience. Rev. esp. sanid. penit. [online]. 2012, vol.14, n.1, pp.3-11. ISSN 2013-6463.

Objectives: To evaluate the effectiveness of NEPs in prison to reduce the prevalence of infections associated with intravenous drug use and to know more about acceptance of the program by inmates and staff. Material and methods: cross-sectional observational study at baseline, 6 and 12 months and 10 years of program development. Interviews were conducted with program users, as well as random sample surveys of officials at the various cuts, and a random sample of inmates from the centre after10 years. Activity indicators of the program were recorded continuously, and the prevalence of HIV, HBV and HCV at baseline and after 10 years was evaluated. For the statistical analysis, the chi-square test was used with the Yates correction when necessary. Results: In ten years we have supplied a total of 15,962 syringes to 429 users, (average 20.2 users/month), and 11,327 (70.9%) were returned. The prevalence of HIV infection decreased from 21% in 1999 to 8.5% in 2009, HCV prevalence from 40% to 26.1% (p <0.01), finding no significant differences in the prevalence of HBsAg +. Most of the inmates and civil servants believe that the program did not increase intravenous drug use and improves hygienic living conditions in prison. Conclusions: After ten years of development of the NEP, there was a significant decrease in the prevalence of HIV and HCV in the prison population at the centre, and the program is accepted as beneficial by most of the inmates and staff participating in the survey.

Keywords : Needle-Exchange Programs; Prevalence; Program Evaluation; Prisons; HIV Infections; Hepatitis C; Methadone; Naltrexone.

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