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Table INF-2. Prevalence of HCV antibody among injecting drug users in the EU, 2007 or most recent year available — Summary table by country.

Country % Infected (1)
YearNumber testedNationalSub-nationalStudy design (2) Setting/comments (2) (3) (4) (5)References
Belgium2007364:34.0-80.1DTLTS, DTC, 11 sites; serum8 ; 22
Bulgaria2006-07126217.957.1DTPRI, DTC, NSP, LTS, HTC, 11 sites; serum4 ; 5
Czech Republic200725919.3:DTNSP, LTS, 36 sites; serum, saliva, capillary blood19
Denmark200619160.7:SP (UAT)ODD; 5 sites; IDUnk7 ; 8
Germany20041134:75n.a.Vacination study; serum, IDUnk24
Estonia2007325:94.5RDSSTR; serum5
Ireland200365:72.3SPDTC; serum14
Greece2006160642.6–66.0 25.4–76.1DTDTC, LTS, OHC, PHL, 42 sites; serum1 ; 2 ; 9
Spain2003669:59.1–73.3SPSTR, Heroin users age 30 or less recruited in community. Injectors+non injectors. Dried blood spots.29 ; 34
France2006362:41.7SP (UAT)NSP, LTS, STR; saliva21
Italy20078009360.236.2-92.0DTDTC, 515 sites; serum; IDUnk46
Cyprus200710234.3:DTDTC,18 sites; serum6
Lithuania2006775:70.3–89.7DTLTS, HTC, 17 sites; serum, dried blood spots; IDUnk 5 ; 8
Luxembourg200553671.8–90.7:SPDTC, NSP, LTS, STI, ANT, OHC, PRI; serum6
Hungary200754825.7:SPNSP, DTC, 15 sites ; dired blood spots12
Malta200615133.1:DTDTC, 1 site; serum3 ; 5
Netherlands2006-07140:40.7-56.5DTDTC, 11 sites; serum27 ; 99
Austria200795640.0-47.819.6-63.1DTDTC, LTS, ODD, NSP, 47 sites; serum7 ; 8 ; 9 ; 10 ; 11 ; 12 ; 13
Poland2005347:43.7–64.0SP (UAT)DTC, LTS, PRI; serum5 ; 6
Portugal2007654838.7-82.3:DTDTC ; serum, dried blood spots; IDUnk §28
Romania2007398:60.2-65.6DTDTC, 3 sites; serum2
Slovenia200728021.8:DTDTC, 18 sites; serum1
Slovakia200669:40.6DT DTC, 1 site7
Finland2007176021.421.4-56.4DT ; SPNSP,PRI, 46 sites; serum, saliva IDUnk6 ; 7
Sweden2007443:32.1-88.2SP ; DTLTS, STR, DTC, OHC, PRI, 215 sites; serum8 ; 10
United Kingdom20073580:29.0–60.0SP (UAT)DTC, NSP, LTS, primary care and outreach; saliva45 ; 46
Croatia200759944.028.7-65.3SPPRI, DTC, NSP, LTS, PHL, HTC; serum1
Turkey200438:47.4DTDTC; serum1
Norway2007353376.164.0SPNSP, LTS, DTC, 24 sites; serum11 ; 12


 : indicates data not available 

 This summary table gives a global overview of the prevalence of HCV antibody in IDUs in the EU, 2006–07 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; RDS: Respondent-driven sampling; 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. 

 Finland: One of the three studies available is IDUnk (National: N=519; 21.4% infected).               

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

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

 Portugal: Two of three studies are IDUnk (All National: N=1440; 38.7% infected and N=4185; 43.7% infected)               


 See Table INF-111.  

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Page last updated: Wednesday, 01 July 2009