A word cloud (in white, gold and grey) in the shape of Australia (coloured black), with standout terms including NSP, health, HIV, community, hepatitis C, services. Background are name of towns and health services in light grey.

Australian NSP Survey National Data Report 2018 – 2022

The Australian Needle Syringe Program Survey (ANSPS) provides serial point prevalence estimates of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) (antibody and RNA) and sexual and injecting risk behaviour among people who inject drugs (PWID) in Australia.

Conducted annually over a one-two week period, all clients attending participating NSPs are invited to complete a brief, anonymous questionnaire and to provide a capillary blood sample for HIV and HCV antibody and HCV RNA testing. Implementation of the 2020, 2021 and 2022 ANSPS was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic with a reduced number of respondents participating compared to previous years.

This report presents national and state/territory data for the period 2018 to 2022.

Key findings
  • In 2022, 53 Australian Needle Syringe Programs (NSPs) participated in the ANSPS and 1,781 NSP attendees completed the survey. The response rate was 34%.
  • As a sentinel surveillance system with the capacity to respond to emerging issues, the 2020, 2021 and 2022 ANSPS surveys included a module about COVID-19 related impacts, including vaccination uptake. In 2022, 82% of respondents reported receiving at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, including 46% reporting three or more doses and 29% reporting two doses.
  • HIV antibody prevalence remained low and stable nationally, ranging from 1.5% to 2.5% over the period 2018 to 2022.
  • HCV antibody prevalence declined from 45% in 2018 to 32% in 2022, while the proportion of respondents with detectable HCV RNA declined from 20% in 2018 to 12% in 2022.
  • Among respondents assessed as eligible for HCV treatment, the proportion who reported a lifetime history of HCV treatment increased, from 55% in 2018 to 68% in 2022.