Sterile syringe access is critical to HIV prevention efforts targeting injection drug users (IDUs) but some pharmacies do not sell syringes over-the-counter (OTC) even where such sales are legal. We conducted a pharmacy survey in Tijuana, Mexico (where OTC sales are legal) to characterize attitudes toward syringe sales and to explore support for expanding pharmacy-based HIV prevention efforts. Of 203 respondents, 28% supported OTC syringe sales to IDUs and 74% said their pharmacy required a prescription for at least some syringe sales. Support for OTC syringe sales was independently associated with selling OTC syringes, understanding the role of sterile syringes in HIV prevention, and recognizing pharmacies as an important health resource for IDUs. Most respondents supported an expanded role for pharmacies in HIV prevention, exclusive of OTC syringe sales. Our study provides information for developing interventions to promote OTC syringe sales and expanding pharmacy-based distribution of HIV-related information and resources.


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pp. 637-651
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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