Date of Award


Degree Name

Healthcare Administration


College of Business

Type of Degree


Document Type

Research Paper

First Advisor

Dr. Alberto Coustasse


Introduction: West Virginia has had a recent spike in infectious diseases such as HIV and hepatitis due to increased rates of injectable drug use. The rising costs associated with such diseases have been a cause for concern in the sector of healthcare and public health. In the state, the exchanging of dirty needles has resulted in the spread of bloodborne pathogens, however, the implementation of needle exchange programs has sought to decrease the rates of infection, improve health outcomes, and lower healthcare costs. However, there is a question as to the effectiveness of such programs.

Purpose of Study: The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of the needle exchange program in West Virginia to determine its influence on healthcare costs, rates of infectious disease, and prevalence of drug users.

Methodology: For this study, a literature review was utilized with a total of 60 relevant citations having been collected from seven databases and various websites. After review, 43 sources were deemed relevant to the study with a total of 17 used in the results section. Semi-structured interviews were also conducted virtually with the interviews in question having been approved by an institutional review board, conducted virtually, and informed consent being obtained verbally. The articles included in the study were limited to those in English and those published from the years 2010 to 2021.

Results: The research showed that the implementation of needle exchange programs in West Virginia led to decreased rates of HIV and hepatitis among injection drug users. Preventative measures taken by the program also helped to avert future healthcare costs related to the treatment of infectious diseases.

Discussion/Conclusion: The research demonstrated that there was a positive relationship between the implementation of needle exchange programs and healthcare outcomes, healthcare costs, and the spread of bloodborne diseases.


Health services administration.

Needle exchange programs -- Research -- West Virginia.

AIDS (Disease) -- West Virginia -- Prevention.