is an excellent report from the Health Protection Agency providing a good
overview of the problem of viral transmission amongst injecting drug userse,
and sensible recommendations for commissioning services to prevent the
spread of blood borne viruses.
To download a pdf file of the report, click
Key Points from
more than two in five injectors have been infected with hepatitis
C, and in Glasgow the estimated incidence of hepatitis C infection
among recent initiates to injecting is approximately 30% per year.
In England and Wales data indicate that hepatitis C transmission among
injectors has increased recently, and in 2002 one in seven of those
who had started to inject since the beginning of 2000 had been infected.
C infection will continue to place a growing demand on the NHS. By
the end of 2002 there had been around 50,000 reported laboratory diagnoses
of hepatitis C in the United Kingdom, with the majority of these reports
associated with injecting drug use. However, of those injectors with
hepatitis C almost three-fifths still remain unaware of their infection.
of hepatitis B continues among injectors even though there is an effective
vaccine. Although the proportion of injectors vaccinated in England
& Wales has increased in recent years many still remain unvaccinated.
HIV infection remains rare among injectors in the United Kingdom,
however there is evidence of ongoing transmission. The prevalence
of HIV among injectors has remained substantially higher in London
than the rest of the country.
outbreaks have been increasingly associated with injecting drug
use in recent years, and in 2002 there was an outbreak of wound
botulism among injectors. These outbreaks are a reminder that injectors
are at increased risk of a wide range of infections.
and syringe sharing increased in the late 1990s, and since then has
been stable with around one in three injectors reporting this activity
in the last month.
Taken from the HPA
website. To go to the HPA site, click