HIV, HCV, and Injection Drug Use in Australia
"In Australia it is estimated that about 13 per cent of people with HIV also have HCV. HIV shares major routes of transmission with both HCV and HBV. People who inject drugs are at particularly high risk for HCV and HIV co-infection.
"While HIV was not established in the Australian IDU population when NSPs were introduced, the prevalence of HCV was already high. HCV is a more robust virus than HIV and is transmitted more efficiently though blood-to-blood contact. Approximately 80 per cent of current HCV infections and 90 per cent of new infections are attributable to unsafe injecting practices (Commonwealth of Australia, 2005b). This explains IDUs being identified as a priority population within The Third National Hepatitis C Strategy."
Victorian Department of Human Services (2010), National needle and syringe programs strategic framework 2010-2014, Commonwealth of Australia, p. 12.