Evaluation of the Southern Harm Reduction Coalition for HIV Prevention: Advocacy Accomplishments

Members of the Southern Harm Reduction Coalition

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Background. HIV/AIDS rates are higher in the Southern United States compared to other regions of the country. Reasons for disparities include poverty, health care access, and racism. People who inject drugs (PWID) account for 8% of HIV/AIDS incidence rates. Harm reduction can connect PWID to needed resources. AIDS United Southern REACH grantees developed the Southern Harm Reduction Coalition (SHRC) as a means to decrease HIV/AIDS and viral hepatitis rates, criminalization of drug users and sex workers, and drug overdose. Method. Investigators used an intrinsic case study design to examine the context of harm reduction in the Southern United States, successful strategies, and outcomes. Data collection included key informant interviews and coalition documents. The community coalition action theory was used to examine the data. Results. The SHRC initiated regional conferences and customized trainings. Strengths-based language and utilization of diverse strengths among coalition members were used to effect change. Coalition outcomes included syringe decriminalization legislation, syringe exchange, naloxone access, naloxone funding legislation, and 911 Good Samaritan laws, along with expanded support for PWID. Conclusions. Advocacy successes can be applied to similar organizations in the Southern United States to promote harm reduction and potentially decrease HIV/AIDS burden, viral hepatitis, criminalization, and overdose.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)695-703
Number of pages9
JournalHealth Promotion Practice
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2018


  • advocacy
  • health disparities
  • health promotion
  • minority health
  • program planning and evaluation
  • public health laws/policies
  • qualitative evaluation


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