Date of Publication


Degree Type

Honors Thesis


Public Health and Health Education

First Advisor

Michael Ray, Visiting Assistant Professor, Public Health and Health Education


This paper explores the cost-effectiveness of New York State-approved syringe exchange programs (SEPs), and provides an estimate of the annual savings in healthcare costs due to these programs. The research utilizes the simplified circulation model that estimated cost savings in Laufer’s (2001) study, however with the most recent data. The cost-effectiveness analysis used data provided by seventeen SEPs, as well as published data for the most recent 12-month period available, and treatment costs from the literature. An estimated 1,608 human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) cases are averted annually in the injection drug user (IDU) population, which translates to about $51,754,152 in treatment cost savings each year due to syringe exchange programs in New York. This research further demonstrates the cost-effectiveness of syringe exchange as prevention strategy.