Australian NSP Survey National Data Report 2009 – 2013

The Australian Needle and Syringe Program Survey (ANSPS) provides serial point prevalence estimates of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) antibodies and sexual and injecting behavioural risk among people who inject drugs (PWID) in Australia. Conducted annually over a one-two week period in October, all clients attending participating needle and syringe program (NSP) services are invited to complete a brief, anonymous questionnaire and to provide a capillary blood sample for HIV and HCV antibody testing.

This report presents national and state/territory data for the period 2009 to 2013.

Key findings
  • In 2013, 50 NSP services participated in the ANSPS and 2,407 NSP attendees completed the survey. The response rate was 44%.
  • Over the period 2009 to 2013, the median age of survey respondents increased from 36 to 39 years and the median time since first injection increased from 15 to 18 years.
  • Although the proportion of respondents testing HIV antibody positive was low in all years 2009 to 2013, HV antibody prevalence increased from 1.2% in 2009 to 2.1% in 2013.
  • HCV antibody prevalence increased significantly from 50% in 2009 to 54% in 2013.
  • Over the period 2009 to 2013, the proportion of respondents reporting daily or more frequent injection in the month prior to the survey decreased from 50% in 2009 to 44% in 2013.