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 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 2008 to 2012.
- In 2012, 52 NSP services participated in the ANSPS and 2,391 NSP attendees completed the survey. The response rate was 46%.
- Over the period 2008 to 2012, the median age of survey respondents increased from 36 years to 38 years and the median time since first injection increased from 15 to 17 years.
- Between 2008 and 2012, HIV antibody prevalence remained low at 1.5% or less nationally and at 3% or less in all state and territories.
- HCV antibody prevalence declined significantly over the period, from 62% in 2008 to 53% in 2012, with the decline evident among both men (63% to 52%) and women (61% to 54%).
- Over the period 2008 to 2012, the proportion of respondents reporting daily or more frequent injection in the month prior to the survey remained stable at between 47% and 50%.