Date of Award


Degree Name

Healthcare Administration


College of Business

Type of Degree


Document Type

Research Paper

First Advisor

Alberto Coustasse


Introduction: Needle Exchange Programs (NEPs) have been controversial aspects of public healthcare due to conflicting beliefs and opinions for public policies. NEPs allow Injection Drug Users (IDUs) the ability to exchange their used equipment for clean, unused supplies.

Purpose: The purpose of this literature review was to determine the effectiveness of needle exchange programs and the impact it has had on the reduction of HIV and viral hepatitis infections in people who inject drugs. It further explores if these strategies have had a positive impact on the reduction of HIV and viral hepatitis C in West Virginia.

Methodology: The hypothesis for this study was: the incorporation of the West Virginia Needle Exchange Program will create a substantial decrease in the number of diseases spread through needle sharing among injection drug users. The research was conducted through a literature review of needle exchange programs within the U.S. and West Virginia in Academic Search Premier, Business Source Premier, Point of View Reference Center, Alt-Health Watch, PubMed, and Google Scholar.

Results: The literature reviewed consisted of studies regarding the demographics of injection drug users and effectiveness of needle exchange programs across the U.S. The need for needle exchange is great in West Virginia. IDUs have accounted for 10% of HIV transmission cases in West Virginia, and the state has been ranked #1 for cases of Hepatitis C.

Discussion/Conclusion: NEPs have had success at decreasing the number of individuals sharing syringes and spreading diseases. It has been shown that the shorter amount of time injection drug equipment is in rotation, the less likely individuals are to share their syringes. Because NEPs are new, further research is needed to determine the full effect these programs have on lowering the rate of diseases spread.


Health services administration.

Needle exchange programs -- West Virginia -- Evaluation.