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Home Publications Infectious diseases Bloodborne infections Shooting Up ›  Shooting Up: Infections among people who inject drugs in the UK 2011. An update: November 2012

Shooting Up: Infections among people who inject drugs in the UK 2011. An update: November 2012

Shooting up: infections among people who inject drugs in the UK 2011: update Nov 2012 cover

Authors:

Health Protection Agency

Publication date: November 2012

 

Synopsis

  1. Hepatitis B infection among people who inject drugs has declined over the last decade. One in six people who inject drugs had ever been infected with the hepatitis B virus in 2011.
  2. This decline most probably reflects the marked increase in the uptake of the hepatitis B vaccine among people who inject drugs. Targeting vaccination to this group needs to be maintained if the current low level of new infections is to be sustained.
  3. Other infections remain common among people who inject drugs in the UK. Around half have been infected with hepatitis C, and around one in every 100 has HIV. 
  4. Bacterial infections remain a problem among people who inject drugs, with almost one-third reporting a symptom of a bacterial infection (such as a sore or abscess) at an injecting site in the past year. 
  5. Needle and syringe sharing is lower than a decade ago, although around one-sixth of people who inject drugs continue to share needles and syringes.

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Last reviewed: 8 November 2012