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Table INF-2. Prevalence of HCV antibody among injecting drug users in the EU, 2005 or most recent year available - Summary table by country

Country YearNumber tested% infected (1)Study design (2) Setting/comments (2) (3) (4) (5)References
Belgium2005375[50.0-80.7]DTLTS, DTC; serum8 ; 14
Bulgaria2005815[53.6]DTDTC, NSP, LTS, HTC; serum2 ; 3
Czech Republic2002-03185352.0 [29.7]DT ; SPLTS, PRI; IDUnkT; serum 3 ; 4
Denmark200522058.0SP (UAT)ODD; All drug related deaths who have a blood sample taken at autopsy; IDUnk7
Germany20041134[75.0]n.a.Vacination study; serum, IDUnk24
Ireland200365[72.3]SPDTC; serum14
Greece2005188143.3-61.7 [21.4-88.2]DTDTC, LTS, OHC, PHL; serum1 ; 2 ; 9
Spain2003669[59.1-73.3]SPSTR, Heroin users age 30 or less recruited in community. Injectors+non injectors. Dried blood spots.29 ; 34
France2004817[44.0-66.0]SP (UAT)n.a.19
Italy20057521361.4 [18.1-92.3]DTDTC, PRI; saliva, serum; IDUnk31
Cyprus2004989.1DTDTC, PRI; serum1
Lithuania2005923[81.8-93.7]DTNSP, LTS, DTC; serum, dried blood spots5 ; 8
Luxembourg200553671.8-90.7SPDTC, NSP, LTS, STI, ANT, OHC, PRI; serum6
Hungary20058211.0DTPHL; serum; IDUnk1
Malta200513830.4DTDTC; serum3
Netherlands200589[64.6]SPDTC, LTS; serum27
Austria200550148.0 [17.2-58.6]DTLTS, PHL, GPS, HTC, ODD, DTC, NSP; serum6 ; 7 ; 8 ; 10 ; 11
Poland2005347[43.7-64.0]SPDTC, LTS, PRI; serum5 ; 6
Portugal2005589738.4-84.3DTDTC, Detoxification units, Outpatient units, Therapeutic communities, Public detoxification units; serum, dried blood spots; IDUnk23 ; 24
Romania2005177[45.8]DT ; SPDTC; serum2
Slovenia200446722.5DTDTC; serum1
Slovakia200472[45.8]DT DTC7
Finland2004-05695[23.0-56.6]DT ; SP (UAT)NSP; serum, saliva6
Sweden200621[83.8]SPDTC, OHC, PRI; serum9
United Kingdom20054233[28.0-57.0]SP (UAT)DTC, NSP, LTS, primary care and outreach; saliva36 ; 39
Turkey200438[47.4]DTDTC; serum1
Norway2005258[69.0]SPNSP, STR; serum8


 This summary table gives a global overview of the prevalence of HCV antibody in IDUs in the EU, 2004-2005 or most recent year available. Data for more than one year are combined if they clearly improve generalisability (e.g. national data, out-of-treatment data). Prevalence in this table should not be compared with previous versions to follow changes over time, as inclusion of sources may vary according to data availability. For time trends see Tables 11-13 in the annex of this statistical bulletin. 

 (1) The figures given in brackets show local estimates (or range of estimates) within the country. 

 (2) Saliva tests for hepatitis C antibodies underestimate prevalence. If test sensitivity is known then figures can be adjusted upwards by dividing prevalence by test sensitivity. Test sensitivity is around 70-90% in older studies and may be up to 90-95% in some recent studies. Figures have not been adjusted. 

 DT: Diagnostic testing; SP: Seroprevalence study; SP-UAT: Seroprevalence study with unlinked anonymous testing; SR: Data (partly) based on self reported test results. 

 (3) Having health problems is one selection criterion for admission to drug treatment in some countries or cities (Greece, Portugal, Rome), due to long waiting lists or special programmes for infected IDUs, and this may result in upward bias of prevalence. Prevalence from treatment data should therefore be interpreted in combination with non-treatment data. On the other hand, data from Italy and Portugal include non-IDUs and may thus underestimate prevalence in IDUs.  

 (4) IDUnk = IDU status not known, prevalence may be too low. 

 (5) ODD = overdose deaths; DEM = drug emergencies; DTC = drug treatment centres; NSP = needle exchanges; LTS = low-threshold services; PHL = public health laboratories; STI = STI clinics; ANT = antenatal clinics; OHC = other hospital or clinics; PRI = prisons; ARR = arrests; GPS = general practitioners; HTC = HIV testing centres; STR = street; OTH = other. 

 Czech Republic: The national study available is IDUnk (n =1319; 52.0% infected). Bulgaria: One sub-national study available is IDUnk (N=115; 16.5% infected). 


 See Table INF-11

Page last updated: Thursday, 13 December 2007