People who inject drugs

People who inject drugs are a priority population for the prevention of HIV and hepatitis B and C. It is estimated that more than 12 million people worldwide inject drugs.

The criminalisation of drug use, social discrimination and stigma, and lack of access to health services mean that people who inject drugs are at high risk of acquiring HIV and hepatitis C.

At the Kirby Institute, we work closely with people who inject drugs and community organisations to conduct research that examines risk behaviour, monitors and identifies trends in infection, and to better understand the structural, cultural and environmental drivers that lead to infection.

We also work closely with people who inject drugs on clinical research for treatments for hepatitis C. With the availability of new, highly effective hepatitis C treatments, a key area of focus for the Kirby Institute over the next few years will be to work with affected communities to develop strategies to enhance pathways and access to treatment.

We conduct annual surveys of the Australian Needle and Syringe Program. The survey monitors blood-borne viral infections and associated risk behaviour among people who inject drugs allowing us to monitor the rates of disease and the effectiveness of interventions.

Our programs that work in this area


People who inject drugs researchers     People who inject drugs projects