Prevalence of HIV and Hepatitis C in Austria Related to Injection Drug Use

"In the early 1990s the HIV prevalence rate was still as high as around 20% in the group of injecting drug users, but has gone down to low levels since then (2013: 0% to 11%; see Table 6.1), with the largest numbers recorded among drug-related deaths. Here, slightly elevated figures have repeatedly been registered in recent years (e.g. 2012: 5% to 12%; see GÖG/ÖBIG 2013c). Figure 6.1 shows that the percentage of persons with HIV infections due to IDU who have been included in Austria's HIV cohort study36 has gone down in recent years. However, in 2011 we see an increase for the first time since 2007, especially in the group aged under 25. As of 2012, the figures have not continued to rise, and in 2013 a marked decline has been re-corded.
"In the available sources of data, the hepatitis B prevalence rates range from 5% to 25% in the reporting period. In the majority of cases one can rule out the possibility that any positive test results may be due to previous vaccination (see also footnotes to Table 6.1).
"The hepatitis C antibody (HCV-Ab) prevalence rate remained stable at a level over 50% for several years in the past. It lay between 20% and 69% in 2012, and between 13% and 70% in 2013. However, on grounds of data quality and data collection settings, it cannot be verified whether or not this is a general trend. In order to obtain reliable figures on the prevalence of infectious diseases in persons with drug problems, it would be very important to improve the national monitoring routines (e.g. conducting a representative seroprevalence study).


Austrian Federal Ministry of Health, "2014 National report (2013 Data) to the EMCDDA by the National Reitox Focal Point: Austria: New Development and Trends," October 2014), pp. 53-54.