Document Type

Capstone Project (Open Access)

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)


Health, Human Services and Public Policy


Collaborative Health and Human Services

First Advisor

Jim Raines

Second Advisor

Zuleima Lee Arevalo


I have interned for the Monterey County Health Department in the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) Prevention Program. My capstone project focuses on a community problem targeting high HIV and Hepatitis C (HCV) transmission rates in Monterey County. There are high HIV and HCV rates among injection drug users (IDUs), and many of our community members may partake in these harmful activities. The cause of these high HIV and HCV rates is because there are limited amounts of pharmacies selling syringes without a prescription, which then causes the high HIV and HCV rates among injection drug users and low life expectancy among those HIV positive IDUs. A limited number of pharmacies that make clean syringes available for purchase without a prescription increases the risk of injection drug users sharing needles, among others, without knowing their status. My capstone project targets increasing the number of pharmacies willing to sell non-prescription syringes (NPSS) in Monterey County. A five-question survey asked twenty pharmacies across Monterey County to determine if they do or not participate in the non-prescription sale of syringes. I will reach out to those pharmacies who do not sell syringes without a prescription and inform them of the importance of the non-prescription sale of syringes in Monterey County, so they reconsider. Yet, suppose the barriers to service delivery may be the stigma attached to NPSS and communication delivery to pharmacists due to COVID-19. In that case, I will not be able to communicate with them in person.