Quantifying Syringe Exchange Program Operational Space in the District of Columbia

Sean T. Allen, Monica S. Ruiz, Jeff Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Syringe exchange programs (SEPs) are effective structural interventions for HIV prevention among persons who inject drugs. In 2000, a buffer zone policy (the 1000 Foot Rule) was implemented in Washington, DC, that prohibited SEP operations within 1000 feet of schools. We examined changes in the amount of legal SEP operational space over time. We used data pertaining to school operations and their approximate physical property boundaries to quantify the impact of the 1000 Foot Rule on legal SEP operational space from its implementation in 2000–2013. Adherence to the 1000 Foot Rule reduced SEP operational space by more than 50 % annually since its implementation. These findings demonstrate the significant restrictions on the amount of legal SEP operational space in Washington, DC, that are imposed by the 1000 Foot Rule. Changing this policy could have a significant impact on SEP service delivery among injectors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2933-2940
Number of pages8
JournalAIDS and behavior
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016


  • HIV
  • Health policy
  • Persons who inject drugs
  • Structural interventions
  • Syringe exchange programs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases


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