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Extremely low and sustained HIV incidence among people who inject drugs in a setting of harm reduction

Iversen, Jennya; Wand, Handanb; Topp, Libbyc; Kaldor, Johnd; Maher, Lisaa

doi: 10.1097/QAD.0000000000000068
Research Letters

This study created a retrospective cohort by linking repeat respondents in a large, national, annual cross-sectional sero-survey to estimate HIV incidence among people who inject drugs (PWID) in Australia. The results indicate extremely low and sustained rates of HIV incidence (0.11 per 100 person-years) over almost two decades (1995–2012). The findings demonstrate that sustained prevention of HIV transmission among PWID is possible and suggest that the early establishment and rapid scale-up of needle and syringe programmes, at a time when background prevalence was low, likely contributed to the prevention of an HIV epidemic among Australian PWID.

aViral Hepatitis Epidemiology and Prevention Program

bBiostatistics and Databases Program, The Kirby Institute, University of New South Wales

cResearch Strategy Unit, Cancer Council NSW

dPublic Health Interventions Research Group, The Kirby Institute, University of New South Wales, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.

Correspondence to Jenny Iversen, The Kirby Institute, University of New South Wales, Sydney NSW 2052, Australia. Tel: +61 2 9385 0900; fax: +61 2 9385 0920; e-mail: jiversen@kirby.unsw.edu.au

© 2014 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.