Expanding Harm Reduction Services Through a Wound and Abscess Clinic

Lauretta E. Grau, PhD, Silvia Arevalo, LVN, Christopher Catchpool, BA, and Robert Heimer, PhD,

A wound and abscess clinic, held concurrently with a syringe exchange, provided economical treatment and aftercare for injectionassociated soft tissue infections. During 20 two-hour clinic sessions, 173 treatment episodes were logged, and the visit cost was estimated at $5 per patient. 

Increased patient–clinician interactions provided opportunities beyond those afforded by the syringe exchange for patients to obtain resources and referrals to services such as HIV counseling and testing, medical care, and drug treatment.

Distribution of cards advertising the clinic was substantially less effective than word of mouth in increasing community awareness of the clinic