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