This project uses existing data from three years of the New South Wales Pharmacy Needle and Syringe Survey (2007–2009) to study the drug and injecting practices of young people aged 18–25 years who inject drugs. Young injectors are identified as a target population in most state and national Hepatitis C Strategies because of the well-documented high incidence of hepatitis C transmission in this group.
Indeed it is usually in the first three years of injecting that a person acquires hepatitis C, making this period a crucial time for intervention. The study provides a drug using and injecting profile of young respondents, describing their patterns of equipment acquisition and use of treatment and testing services. It compares these with older respondents and, additionally, attempts to identify key age points at which intervention could take place to reduce hepatitis C transmission and increase the use of NSP and testing and treatment services.
NSW Health, Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing