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Table INF-2. Prevalence of HCV antibody among injecting drug users in the EU, 2006 or most recent year available — Summary table by country

Country % Infected (1)
YearNumber testedNationalSub-nationalStudy design (2) Setting/comments (2) (3) (4) (5)References
Belgium200641136.2–78.7DTLTS, DTC, 9 sites; serum8 ; 22
Bulgaria2005-06121617.9 16.5–52.4DTPRI, DTC, NSP, LTS, HTC, 12 sites; serum2 ; 3 ; 4
Czech Republic200669516DTNSP, LTS; serum14
Denmark200619160.7SP (UAT)ODD; 5 sites; IDUnk7 ; 8
Germany2004113475n.a.Vacination study; serum, IDUnk24
Ireland20036572.3SPDTC; serum14
Greece2006160642.6–66.0 25.4–76.1DTDTC, LTS, OHC, PHL, 42 sites; serum1 ; 2 ; 9
Spain200366959.1–73.3SPSTR, Heroin users age 30 or less recruited in community. Injectors+non injectors. Dried blood spots.29 ; 34
France200481744.0–66.0SP (UAT)n.a.19
Italy20067821262 40.1–95.5DTDTC, PRI; serum, saliva; IDUnk31 ; 32
Cyprus20069829.6DTDTC,9 sites; serum1 ; 3 ; 4 ; 5
Lithuania200677570.3–89.7DTLTS, HTC, 17 sites; serum, dried blood spots; IDUnk §5 ; 8
Luxembourg200553671.8–90.7SPDTC, NSP, LTS, STI, ANT, OHC, PRI; serum6
Hungary20063346.4–28.9DT ; SPPHL, NSP, DTC, 14 sites ; serum, dired blood spots; IDUnk §1 ; 5 ; 7 ; 8 ; 9
Malta200615133.1DTDTC, 1 site; serum3 ; 5
Netherlands20067840.7–70.4DTDTC, LTS, 12 sites; serum27
Austria200661531.9 37.9–55.0DTLTS, PHL, GPS, HTC, ODD, DTC, NSP; serum6 ; 7 ; 8 ; 10 ; 11 ; 12
Poland200534743.7–64.0SP (UAT)DTC, LTS, PRI; serum5 ; 6
Portugal2006652941.7–84.8DTDTC, Detoxification units, Outpatient units, Therapeutic communities, Public detoxification units; serum, dried blood spots; IDUnk §23 ; 24 ; 27
Romania200610646.2DTDTC, 2 sites; serum2
Slovenia200446722.5DTDTC; serum1
Slovakia20047245.8DT DTC7
Finland2005-06114120.7 23.0–40.0DTNSP, 16 sites; serum6
Sweden2006-0722483.8–88.2SP ; DTLTS, STR, DTC, OHC, PRI, 207 sites; serum9
United Kingdom2006324229.0–56.0SP (UAT)DTC, NSP, LTS, primary care and outreach; saliva36 ; 39 ; 40
Turkey20043847.4DTDTC; serum1
Norway2006321878.470.2SPNSP, LTS, DTC, 24 sites; serum8 ; 9 ; 10


 This summary table gives a global overview of the prevalence of HCV antibody in IDUs in the EU, 2005–06 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 Table INF-111, INF-112 and INF-113

 (1) The figures show estimates (or range of estimates) at National and/or sub-national level. 

 (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 in IDUs is likely to be underestimated. 

 (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. 

 § - IDUnk = IDU status not known, prevalence may be too low. 

 Lithuania: One of the three studies avaliable is IDUnk (Subnational: N=457; 72.3 % infected). 

 Hungary: One of the two studies available is IDUnk (National: N=47; 6.4 % infected). 

 Portugal: Two of the three studies available is IDUnk (all National: N= 4106; 1524 - 43.2 %; 41.7 % infected respectively). 

 Sweden: Includes 2007 data. 


 See Table INF-111.  

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Page last updated: Wednesday, 16 July 2008