HIV among injecting drug users of Indo-Chinese ethnicity in Victoria

Jane S Hocking, Peter G Higgs, Cathy M Keenan and Nick Crofts
Med J Aust 2002; 176 (4): . || doi: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.2002.tb04361.x
Published online: 18 February 2002

To the Editor: Australia has been successful so far in maintaining a low prevalence of HIV infection among injecting drug users (IDUs). This has been achieved by adopting a harm-reduction approach to the prevention of bloodborne virus transmission, including needle and syringe programs, methadone maintenance and peer-education. Sharing of needles and syringes has declined markedly: cross-sectional surveys among users of needle and syringe programs across Australia have shown a decrease in the prevalence of reported sharing from 31% in 1995 to 15% in 1997.1



We gratefully acknowledge the efforts of Tom Carter, Beth Hatch and Jane Tomnay of the Victorian Department of Human Services in collecting additional HIV notification information. Thanks also to Lisa Maher and Margaret MacDonald for their assistance in providing additional information. Jane Hocking and Cathy Keenan were supported by the Victorian Health Promotion Foundation.

  • 1. MacDonald MA, Wodak AD, Dolan KA, et al. Hepatitis C virus antibody prevalence among injecting drug users at selected needle and syringe programs in Australia, 1995-1997. Med J Aust 2000; 172: 57-61. <eMJA full text>
  • 2. Maher L, Sargent P, Higgs P, et al. Risk behaviours of young Indo-Chinese injecting drug users in Sydney and Melbourne. Aust N Z J Public Health 2001; 25: 50-54.
  • 3. Reid G, Crofts N, Beyer L. Drug treatment services for ethnic communities in Victoria, Australia: an examination of cultural and institutional barriers. Ethn Health 2001; 6: 13-26.
  • 4. Kelsall J, Higgs P, Crofts N. The Vietnamese Harm Reduction Project: Stage 2. Melbourne: Centre for Harm Reduction, Macfarlane Burnet Centre for Medical Research, 2001.
  • 5. Australian Bureau of Statistics. 1996 census of population and housing. Canberra: AGPS, 1997.


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