The impact of changes to heroin supply on blood-borne virus notifications and injecting related harms in New South Wales, Australia

Day, C., Degenhardt, L., Gilmour, S. and Hall, W. (2005) The impact of changes to heroin supply on blood-borne virus notifications and injecting related harms in New South Wales, Australia. BMC Public Health, 5 84-1-84-8. doi:10.1186/1471-2458-5-84


Author Day, C.
Degenhardt, L.
Gilmour, S.
Hall, W.
Title The impact of changes to heroin supply on blood-borne virus notifications and injecting related harms in New South Wales, Australia
Journal name BMC Public Health   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1471-2458
Publication date 2005
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1186/1471-2458-5-84
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 5
Start page 84-1
End page 84-8
Total pages 8
Place of publication London, U.K.
Publisher Biomed Central Ltd
Collection year 2005
Language eng
Subject C1
321202 Epidemiology
730205 Substance abuse
111706 Epidemiology
Abstract Background: In early 2001 Australia experienced a sudden and unexpected disruption to heroin availability, know as the 'heroin shortage'. This 'shortage has been linked to a decrease in needle and syringe output and therefore possibly a reduction in injecting drug use. We aimed to examine changes, if any, in blood-borne viral infections and presentations for injecting related problems related to injecting drug use following the reduction heroin availability in Australia, in the context of widespread harm reduction measures. Methods: Time series analysis of State level databases on HIV, hepatitis B, hepatitis C notifications and hospital and emergency department data. Examination of changes in HIV, hepatitis B, hepatitis C notifications and hospital and emergency department admissions for injection-related problems following the onset of the heroin shortage; non-parametric curve-fitting of number of hepatitis C notifications among those aged 15 - 19 years. Results: There were no changes observed in hospital visits for injection-related problems. There was no change related to the onset heroin shortage in the number of hepatitis C notifications among persons aged 15 - 19 years, but HCV notifications have subsequently decreased in this group. No change occurred in HIV and hepatitis B notifications. Conclusion: A marked reduction in heroin supply resulted in no increase in injection-related harm at the community level. However, a delayed decrease in HCV notifications among young people may be related. These changes occurred in a setting with widespread, publicly funded harm reduction initiatives.
Keyword Public, Environmental & Occupational Health
Hepatitis-c Virus
Human-immunodeficiency-virus
Drug-users
Syringe Programs
Needle Exchange
Prevalence
Reduction
Availability
Infection
Cohort
Q-Index Code C1
Additional Notes Published as a PDF 8 pages, Article no. 84

 
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Created: Wed, 15 Aug 2007, 05:56:16 EST