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Medical News

HIV Prevalence Among Injecting Drug Users in England and Wales 1990 to 2003: Evidence for Increased Transmission in Recent Years

July 22, 2005

The researchers conducted a study to describe trends in HIV prevalence among injecting drug users (IDUs) in England and Wales between 1990 and 2003. The investigators analyzed surveillance data from voluntary unlinked anonymous cross-sectional surveys collecting oral fluid samples and behavioral information from IDUs recruited from both drug agency (n=24,304) and community settings (n=3,628).

The authors found HIV prevalence among IDUs in England and Wales declined from 5.9 percent in 1990 to 0.6 percent in 1996, and remained stable until 1999, after which it increased to 1.4 percent in 2003. Between 1994 and 1999, few HIV infections were found among short-term IDUs, but in recent years prevalence among that group has increased. Other factors associated with higher odds of having HIV were having been recruited in London and from community settings, and ever having had a confidential HIV test. The authors found incidence estimated through a force of infection model was 2.8 percent annually among those injecting for less than a year in London between 1998 and 2003.

"These data suggest that incidence and prevalence of HIV may have increased, whereas other indicators suggest an increase in risk behavior," the researchers concluded. "It is critical that harm reduction measures are reinvigorated, and evolve in response to changes in drug use risk behaviors and policy."

Back to other news for July 22, 2005

Adapted from:
07.05; Vol.19; No.11: P.1207-1214; Vivian D. Hope; Ali Judd; Matthew Hickman; Andrew Sutton; Gerry V. Stimson; John V. Parry; O. Noel Gill

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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
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