The Australian Needle and Syringe Program Survey (ANSPS) is a cross-sectional study that has been conducted over a one to two week period each year since 1995. The survey forms the basis of Australia’s human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and hepatitis C surveillance among injecting drug users, and monitors behavioural indices of risk in addition to prevalence of infection.
All clients attending selected NSP sites during the specified survey period are asked to complete a brief self administered questionnaire and to provide a capillary blood sample for HIV and hepatitis C antibody testing. Demographic and behavioural data captured includes injecting ,and sexual behaviour, blood borne virus testing, drug treatment and needle and syringe acquisition.
A National Data Report, summarising national and state/territory data is produced by the Kirby Institute on an annual basis.
- HIV antibody prevalence remained low, nationally, at less than two percent, except among participants reporting male homosexual identity (26% in 2007).
- HCV antibody prevalence has remained high nationally (62% in 2007).
- The median age of survey participants increased from 31 years in 2003 to 35 years in 2007.
- Participants reporting daily or more frequent injection in the month prior to the survey remained stable, ranging from 46% (2003) to 49% (2005).
- In 2007, the proportion of participants reporting heroin and meth/amphetamine as the drug last injected were comparable at 31% (heroin) and 30% (meth/amphetamine).