Australian NSP Survey National Data Report 2011 – 2015

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 risk behaviour 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 2011 to 2015.

Key findings
  • In 2015, 47 NSP services throughout Australia participated in the ANSPS and 2,304 NSP attendees completed the survey. The response rate was 41%.
  • Over the period 2011 to 2015, the median age of survey respondents increased from 37 years to 40 years, with a concurrent decrease in the proportion of young injectors (aged <25 years) from 8% in 2011 to 5% in 2015.
  • HIV antibody prevalence remained low and stable nationally, ranging from 1.2% in 2011 to 2.1% in 2015, however the proportion of men testing HIV antibody positive increased from 1.4% in 2011 to 2.2% in 2015.
  • Hepatitis C virus (HCV) antibody prevalence was stable over the period 2011 to 2015, ranging from 53% to 57%.
  • Over the period 2011 to 2015, approximately half of respondents reported daily or more frequent injecting in the month prior to the survey.