Injection Drug Use and Hepatitis C Virus in The Netherlands, 2012

"• The PIENTER-2 study found a weighted national HCV seroprevalence of 0.30% (95% CI 0.05-0.55%) (Vriend et al., 2012).
"• The study described that most HCV-positive persons (70%) were born in a HCV endemic country. Eight of the 6386 participating individuals reported having injected drugs and three of eight ever injectors were HCV-positive. However, the study concludes that 'limited information was obtained on the HCV prevalence among high-risk groups like IDU and HIV-positive MSM. Despite the high number of total participants, the number of HIV-positive MSM and of participants reporting IDU was very small. Moreover, information on (former) IDU and HIV status was missing in 3-10% of the total study population. A possible underrepresentation of these groups could have resulted in an underestimation of the national HCV seroprevalence.' (Vriend et al., 2012)
"• Based on the HCV prevalence from the PIENTER studies and recent HCV data from specific risk groups (migrants, MSM and IDUs), a new HCV estimation was made using mathematical modelling, which took into account the changes in HCV dynamics in several risk groups (lower numbers of HCV infection in the “usual” HCV risk groups: IDUs and haemophilia patients; and more acute HCV infections in MSM) (Vriend et al., 2013). The estimated national HCV seroprevalence was 0.22% (min 0.07%; max 0.37%), equivalent to 28,100 HCV infected individuals (min n=9,600; max n= 48,000)."


Van Laar M.W., Cruts G, Van Ooyen-Houben M., Croes E., Van der Pol P., Meijer, R., Ketelaars T., (2014). The Netherlands drug situation 2013: report to the EMCDDA by the Reitox National Focal Point. Trimbos-instituut/WODC, Utrecht/Den Haag, pp. 68-69.