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Table INF-3. Prevalence of markers for HBV infection among injecting drug users in the EU, 2006 or most recent year available — Summary table by country

Country or region% positive aHBc(1)% positive aHBs(1)% positive HBsAg(1)
YearNumber testedNationalSub-NationalNationalSub-NationalNationalSub-NationalSetting/comments (2) (3) (4) (5)References
Belgium2005–0675115.8–55.012.3–50.50.0–1.5LTS, DTC, 9 sites; serum8 ; 22
Bulgaria2006110011.67.4PRI, DTC, NSP, LTS, 11 sites; serum.2 ; 4
Czech Republic
Denmark 200618637.1ODD, 5 sites; post mortem blood. IDUnk7
Ireland 20036317.586.40DTC; serum14
Germany 200494153DTC, Vacination study; serum; IDUnk4 ; 24
Greece 2006145915.3–29.1 5.6–33.325.1–37.014.8–50.01.7–3.6 0.0–8.8DTC, LTS, OHC, PHL, 42 sites; serum1 ; 2 ; 9
Spain200361322.5STR, Heroin users recruited in community; dried blood spots29 ; 34
Italy20066323539.5 12.3–93.1DTC, PRI; serum; IDUnk. All markers.31 ; 32
Cyprus2006962.1DTC, 9 sites; serum1 ; 3 ; 4 ; 5
Lithuania20066683.3–8.9HTC, LTS, 16 sites ; serum, dried blood spots5
Luxembourg 200550818.4–35.954.9–75.03.9DTC, NSP, LTS, STI, ANT, OHC, PRI; serum6
Hungary20063550.0–1.3PHL, DTC, NSP, 14 sites; serum; IDUnk §7 ; 8 ; 9
Malta20061510.7DTC; serum2 ; 3 ; 5
Netherlands200040535.23DTC, NSP, LTS, Surveys in and outside drug treatment; serum9 ; 14a ; 14b
Austria20062715.2–27.4LTS, PHL, GPS, HTC, NSP; serum. All markers.4 ; 7 ; 8
Poland2004–0576623.6–66.731.5–34.51.2–8.5DTC, LTS, PRI, STR; serum6
Portugal2003–2006626716.0–28.020.0–33.02.9–5.6DTC, outpatient units, therapeutic communities, detoxification units, Public detoxification units; dried blood spots, serum; IDUnk §27
Romania20061368.8DTC, 2 sites; serum2
Slovenia2002–049804.13.4aHBc. DTC; serum1
United Kingdom200532396.7–34.0DTC, NSP, LTS, PRI, primary care and outreach; saliva, dried blood spots36 ; 39
Norway2006231430.9NSP, LTS, STR, 5 sites; serum.8


 This summary table gives a global overview of prevalence of HBV markers 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 INF-114 and INF-115

 n.a.= not available 

 Sample size is mostly equal for the different HBV markers, where this is not the case the smallest sample size is shown.  

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

 (2) Saliva tests for hepatitis B antibodies underestimate prevalence. If test sensitivity is known then figures can be adjusted upwards by dividing prevalence by test sensitivity. Figures have not been adjusted. 

 (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. Data for Italy and Austria are not prevalence of aHBc but prevalence of 'all HBV markers' as a proxy of aHBc prevalence. 

 (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. 

 Hungary: One of the two studies available is IDUnk (National: N=55; 0.0% infected) 

 Portugal: Two of the three studies available is IDUnk (National: N=4041; 1355 — 5.6 %; 2.9 % infected respectively) 


 See Tables INF-114 and INF-115.  

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Page last updated: Wednesday, 16 July 2008