Australian NSP Survey Report 2018
Sep 21, 2018
The Australian Needle and Syringe Program (NSP) 2018 Survey Report presents national and state/territory data for the period 2013 to 2017 on the prevalence of blood borne viral infections and associated risk behaviour among people who inject drugs. Conducted annually over a one-two week period, all clients attending participating NSPs are invited to complete an anonymous questionnaire and to provide a capillary blood sample for HIV and HCV antibody testing. In 2017, 52 NSPs participated and 2,600 NSP attendees completed the survey.
Some of the key findings include:
- Over the period 2013 to 2017, the median age of survey respondents increased from 39 years to 42 years, with a decrease in the proportion of young injectors (aged <25 years) from 8% in 2013 to 5% in 2017.
- In 2017, methamphetamine was the most commonly reported drug last injected (41%) by NSP users, followed by heroin (30%) and pharmaceutical opioids was the third most commonly reported drug last injected (9%).
- The proportion of respondents who reported last injecting performance and image enhancing drugs declined from 7% in 2013 to 5% in 2017.
- HIV antibody prevalence remained low and stable nationally, ranging from 1.4% to 2.1% over the period 2013 to 2017.
- Hepatitis C virus antibody prevalence declined from 54% in 2013 to 49% in 2017.
- Nationally, the proportion of respondents who reported recent (last 12 months) initiation of Hepatitis C treatment increased significantly to 22% in 2016 and 36% in 2017.