Hepatitis C Prevalence and Injection Drug Use

"The prevalence of hepatitis C infection amongst PWID remains high overall (HPA et al. 2012). In 2011, 44% of the (current and former) PWID participating in the UAM Survey in England and Wales had antibodies to hepatitis C169, which is similar to the level seen in recent years (ST09). However, this is higher than the level found in 2000 when prevalence was 38% (ST09). The prevalence in 2011 was 46% amongst men and 41% amongst women, and increased with age from 22% amongst those aged under 25 years to 53% amongst those aged 35 years and over (ST09).
"In 2011, the overall prevalence of antibodies to hepatitis C amongst the PWID participating in the UAM Survey across England, Wales and Northern Ireland in 2011 was 43%. This is lower than the 47% recorded in 2010, however, it is not significantly different from the prevalence of 39% seen in 2001 (HPA 2012b; Figure 6.2). In England in 2011, the hepatitis C prevalence amongst participants in the UAM Survey was 45%, however, there were very marked regional variations ranging from 33% in the West Midlands, East Midlands and North East to 60% in the North West (HPA 2012a). The prevalence in Wales (39%) and Northern Ireland (29%) was lower than in many of the English regions (HPA 2012a).
"The prevalence of antibodies to hepatitis C amongst recent initiates in England, Wales and Northern Ireland (those injecting for less than three years) is higher than in 2000 (12%) and earlier years. In 2011, amongst those in this group who participated in the UAM Survey from throughout England, Wales and Northern Ireland, the prevalence was 20% and similar to that seen between 2001 and 2010 (Figure 6.2) (HPA 2012b)."


UK Focal Point on Drugs, "United Kingdom Drug Situation 2012 Edition: Annual Report to the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA)" (London, England: UK Government, Department of Health, October 31, 2012), pp. 109-110.