Incidence of HIV Among People in Norway Who Inject Drugs

"In 2013, 233 cases of HIV infection were reported to the Norwegian Surveillance System for Communicable Diseases (MSIS). Eight of the cases were among injecting drug users: six men and two women. The median age was 31 years (30 to 37 years). Five of the eight injecting drug users who were diagnosed as HIV positive in 2013 were persons of foreign origin (mostly Eastern European) who had been infected before arriving in Norway.

"As of 31 December 2013, a total of 604 persons had been diagnosed as HIV positive with injecting use as a risk factor. This amounts to 11 per cent of all reported cases of HIV since 1984. In 155 of the cases, the patient had developed Aids (Table 4). No information is available regarding how many of the HIV positive injecting drug users are still alive.

"The incidence of HIV among injecting drug users has remained at a stable, low level for many years, with about 10 to 15 cases reported per year. The number was eight in 2013. The reason for this is not entirely clear, but a high level of testing, great openness regarding HIV status within the drug user community, combined with a strong fear of being infected and strong internal justice in the community, are assumed to be important factors. In addition, many of the sources of infection in the drug user community have disappeared due to overdose deaths, and some have been rehabilitated through substitution therapy or other forms of rehabilitation. However, the extensive outbreaks of hepatitis A and B in the late 1990s and early 2000s, and the high incidence of hepatitis C, show that there is still extensive needle sharing in this group. In the last few years, the majority of injecting drug users diagnosed with HIV have been persons of foreign origin (mostly Eastern European) who had been infected before arriving in Norway."


Drug Situation in Norway 2014, Norwegian Institute for Alcohol and Drug Research (SIRUS)/EMCDDA. Statistics 2015. ISBN: 978-82-7171-422-2. Available at