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 risk behaviour 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 2012 to 2016.
- In 2016, 50 Australian Needle and Syringe Programs (NSPs) participated in the ANSPS and 2,210 NSP attendees completed the survey. The response rate was 41%.
- Over the period 2012 to 2016, the median age of survey respondents increased from 38 years to 42 years, with a concurrent decrease in the proportion of young injectors (aged <25 years) from 7% in 2012 to 4% in 2016.
- HIV antibody prevalence remained low and stable nationally, ranging from 1.2% to 2.1% over the period 2012 to 2016
- Hepatitis C virus (HCV) antibody prevalence was stable over the period 2012 to 2016, ranging from 51% to 57%.
- Nationally, the proportion of respondents who reported recent (last 12 months) initiation of HCV treatment was low and stable at 1-3% between 2011-2015, but increased significantly to 22% in 2016, with substantial increases observed in all jurisdictions.