The Australian Needle and Syringe Program Survey (ANSPS) provides serial point prevalence estimates of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) antibodies and sexual and injecting behavioural indices of risk among people who inject drugs (PWID) in Australia. Conducted annually over a one-two week period in October, all clients attending participating needle and syringe program (NSP) services are invited to complete a brief, anonymous questionnaire and to provide a capillary blood sample for HIV and HCV antibody testing.
This report presents national and state/territory data for the period 2007 to 2011.
- In 2011, 53 NSP services participated in the ANSPS and 2,395 NSP attendees completed the survey.
- The median age of survey respondents increased from 35 years to 37 years over the period 2007 to 2011 with a concurrent decrease in the proportion of young people (aged less than 25 years) from 10% in 2007 to 8% in 2011.
- Between 2007 and 2011, HIV antibody prevalence remained low at 1.5% or less nationally and at 2.5% or less in all state and territories.
- HCV antibody prevalence declined significantly over the period, from 62% in 2007 to 53% in 2011, with the decline evident among both men (61% to 54%) and women (64% to 52%).
- Over the period 2007 to 2011, the proportion of respondents reporting daily or more frequent injection in the month prior to the survey remained stable at between 47% and 50%.