Date of Award

5-13-2021

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Anthropology

First Advisor

Dr. Kathryn A. Kozaitis

Second Advisor

Dr. Cassandra White

Third Advisor

Dr. Shana Harris

Abstract

A syringe services program (SSP) is a public health initiative designed to combat the spread of HIV and other infections among populations of people who inject drugs (PWID). These syringe exchanges adhere to a model of care called harm reduction. A common goal of these initiatives is to reduce risky behaviors by providing health care resources that are necessary for PWID to avoid disease transmission, including sterile injection equipment and much more. These treatment systems contrast practices like forced abstinence, detoxification, and rehabilitation, which are standard ways to treat PWID within the dominant Western biomedical system. This thesis research utilizes ethnographic methods to provide a program evaluation of a SSP in Atlanta, Georgia. It relies on praxis principles to highlight and synthesize the ideas of participants in order to ultimately make recommendations for the development of SSPs in Atlanta and throughout the United States.

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