Neighborhood history as a factor shaping syringe distribution networks among drug users at a U.S. syringe exchange

Naomi Braine, Caroline Acker, Cullen Goldblatt, Huso Yi, Samuel Friedman, Don C. DesJarlais

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Throughout the U.S., high visibility drug markets are concentrated in neighborhoods with few economic opportunities, while drug buyers/users are widely dispersed. A study of Pittsburgh Syringe Exchange participants provides data on travel between and network linkages across neighborhoods with different levels of drug activity. There are distinct racial patterns to syringe distribution activity within networks and across neighborhoods. Pittsburgh's history suggests that these patterns emerge from historical patterns of social and economic development. Study data demonstrate the ability of IDUs to form long-term social ties across racial and geographic boundaries and use them to reduce the risk of HIV transmission.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)235-246
Number of pages12
JournalSocial Networks
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1 2008



  • Drug users
  • Race
  • Syringe exchange
  • Urban history

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Psychology(all)

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