Prevalence and Trends in IDU-Related Hepatitis C in the EU

"Viral hepatitis, in particular infection caused by the hepatitis C virus (HCV), is highly prevalent in injecting drug users across Europe (Figure 18). HCV antibody levels among national samples of injecting drug users in 2009–10 varied from 14% to 70%, with seven of the 11 countries with national data (Greece, Italy, Cyprus, Austria, Portugal, Finland, Norway), reporting prevalence over 40% (111), a level that may indicate that injecting risks are sufficient for HIV transmission (Vickerman et al., 2010). HCV antibody prevalence levels of over 40 % were also reported in the most recent national data available for Denmark, Luxembourg and Croatia and in nine other countries providing sub-national data (2005–10). The Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovenia (all national, 2009–10) and Turkey (sub-national, 2008) report HCV prevalence of under 25% (5–24%), although infection rates at this level still constitute a significant public health problem.

"Over 2005–10, declining HCV prevalence in injecting drug users at either national or sub-national level was reported in six countries, while five others observed an increase (Bulgaria, Greece, Cyprus, Austria, Romania). Italy reported a decline at national level between 2005 and 2009 — more recent data are not available — with increases in three of the 21 regions (Abruzzo, Umbria, Valle d’Aosta)."


European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction, "Annual report 2012: the state of the drugs problem in Europe" (Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union, November 2012), Catalog No. TDAC12001ENC, doi:10.2810/64775, p. 81.