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  • Prevalence of, and risk factors for, human immunodeficiency virus, hepatitis B and hepatitis C infections among men who inject image and performance enhancing drugs in England & Wales.

    Posted on April 23rd, 2013 TimB No comments

    Dr Vivian Hope of Public Health England told the British HIV Association conference yesterday that injection of image- and performance-enhancing drugs is rising in England and Wales. Moreover, his research suggests that men may be acquiring bloodborne viruses through this route – 1.5% had antibodies to HIV, 8.8% had antibodies to hepatitis B and 5.5% to hepatitis C.

    Dr Hope said that across the world, only three previous studies have been conducted on HIV prevalence among people who inject drugs which are taken to enhance body image, physical strength or performance. One of these three was conducted in the UK in the mid-1990s and did not find any HIV infections in those surveyed.

    There are reports of increased numbers of people injecting these drugs who present to needle and syringe exchanges. However, not all syringe exchanges have the skills and experience to meet their needs. The injecting process is different to that of opiates ­– these drugs are normally delivered in a sealed vial, and are not usually injected into a vein, but into a muscle or beneath the skin.

    Moreover, the social profile of injectors of image- and performance-enhancing drugs is different to that of opiate injectors – younger, more likely to be employed, less likely to have had problems with the criminal justice system.

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  • A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Interventions to Prevent Hepatitis C Virus Infection in People Who Inject Drugs

    Posted on June 3rd, 2011 TimB No comments

    High rates of hepatitis C virus (HCV) transmission are found in samples of people who inject drugs (PWID) throughout the world. The objective of this paper was to meta-analyze the effects of risk-reduction interventions on HCV seroconversion and identify the most effective intervention types.

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  • Downtown needle exchange Cactus Montreal says it will open a safe injection site next year, with or without provincial approval

    Posted on December 10th, 2010 TimB No comments

    If a Montreal needle exchange has its way, Quebec will soon become the second Canadian province to offer a safe-injection site—whether the provincial government wants it or not.

    Cactus Montreal, a downtown needle exchange site, announced last week that it will offer IV drug users space to inject drugs under medical supervision at their office on Ste-Catherine E. and Sanguinet. Their goal is to reduce HIV and hepatitis C infection and prevent accidental overdose deaths.

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  • Guidelines for testing HIV, viral hepatitis and other infections in injecting drug users

    Posted on November 30th, 2010 TimB No comments

    Infectious diseases are among the most serious health consequences of injecting drug use and can lead to significant healthcare costs. Injecting drug users are vulnerable to a range of infectious and communicable diseases through a variety of risk behaviours, and because of underlying conditions such as poor hygiene, homelessness and poverty. This leads to higher morbidity and mortality in this group as compared with the same age groups in the general population. In addition, IDUs can act as a core group carrying infections that may pose a risk to the general population.

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  • Heroin Injection in New York City

    Posted on November 28th, 2010 TimB No comments

    Compilation of drug injection clips shot in New York City for the purpose of helping public health workers learn about the risks associated with drug injection processes. This film was (and is) intended for educational purposes only.

  • Injection site in Vancouver: an example for Quebec

    Posted on November 28th, 2010 TimB No comments

    Russ Maynard, director of Insite in Vancouver, notes that many drug addicts who frequent this  supervised injecting facility then ask for help to overcome their addiction

    Russ Maynard, director of the only center of its kind in North America, located in Vancouver, says that the great benefit of such an initiative is to help its customers to overcome the horrors of addiction.

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  • Seroprevalence of HIV, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C among opioid drug users on methadone treatment in the Netherlands

    Posted on October 27th, 2010 TimB No comments

    Injecting drug users (IDU) remain an important population at risk for bloodborne infections such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV). In the Netherlands, a program is being implemented to offer annual voluntary screening for these infections to opioid drug users (ODUs) screened in methadone care. At two care sites where the program is now operating, our study aimed to estimate the seroprevalence among ODUs screened for HIV, HBV and HCV; to evaluate HBV vaccination coverage; and to assess the feasibility of monitoring seroprevalence trends by using routine annual screening data.

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  • Needle-sharing problem grew after fixed exchange closed, researchers say

    Posted on September 2nd, 2010 TimB No comments

    Sharing of dirty needles by Victoria’s injection-drug users increased substantially after the city’s only fixed needle exchange closed in 2008, according to a study by the University of Victoria’s Centre for Addictions Research of B.C.

    And rates of needle sharing — a practice that contributes to the spread of hepatitis C and HIV — have remained significantly higher in Victoria than Vancouver over the past three years, researchers say.

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  • Trends in injecting drug use in Europe (EMCDDA)

    Posted on June 24th, 2010 TimB No comments

    Injecting drug use has a long history in Europe but it was in the early 1980s, with the rapid growth of intravenous heroin use and the spread of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), that this behaviour gained prominence as a core element of Europe’s drug problem. Not only did injecting levels increase dramatically during the 1980s and 1990s (1), many European countries also saw a rapid increase in the number of HIV infections among drug users, resulting in increased numbers of deaths due to AIDS.

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  • Hepatitis C: Silent but deadly

    Posted on May 19th, 2010 TimB No comments

    A million people in the UK die each year from hepatitis C, but many don’t even know they are sufferers. Now the stars turn the spotlight on this stealthy killer

    Petra Wright from Bo’ness, a middle-aged, married marketing officer for a financial services company, is the last person you might expect to have hepatitis C. Her GP certainly thought so, but when Wright asked for a test it came back positive. “My GP said if she had been asked to target people in the practice to test, there’s no way she would’ve picked me,” she says. Wright is one of up to 466,000 people living with the infection in the UK, only around 100,000 of whom have been diagnosed. Worldwide there are 500 million people (one in 12) with hepatitis B or C, more than ten times the number infected with HIV/Aids.

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