Global Estimated Prevalence of Hepatitis C Related to Injection Drug Use

"PWID [People Who Inject Drugs] are a key population affected by hepatitis C. Global estimates suggest that 71 million people worldwide were chronically infected with hepatitis C in 2017 and that 23 per cent of new hepatitis C infections and one in three hepatitis C-related deaths are attributable to injecting drug use.130 Hepatitis C-related morbidity and mortality continue to rise, mainly as a result of cirrhosis, hepatocellular carcinoma and death in cases of untreated hepatitis C.131

"UNODC, WHO, UNAIDS and the World Bank jointly estimated the prevalence of hepatitis C among PWID worldwide in 2018 to be 48.5 per cent, or 5.5 million (range: 4 million to 7.8 million) people aged 15–64. This estimate is based on estimates in 108 countries, covering 94 per cent of the estimated global number of PWID. Data on hepatitis C prevalence were available for all estimated PWID in Eastern Europe, South-Eastern Europe, North America, South-West Asia, South Asia, Central Asia and Transcaucasia, but for none in Central America, and for only 31 and 32 per cent, respectively, of all PWID in the Caribbean and West and Central Africa. Overall, reports from 69 per cent of countries (74 out of 108 countries) could be graded as “class A methodology” (seroprevalence study),132 and new or updated estimates for hepatitis C among PWID were available for 35 countries in total in 2018."


World Drug Report 2020 (United Nations publication, Sales No. E.20.XI.6).