Injecting drug use in Australia: needle/syringe programs prove their worth, but hepatitis C still on the increase

Matthew G Law and Robert G Batey
Med J Aust 2003; 178 (5): . || doi: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.2003.tb05159.x
Published online: 3 March 2003

Needle/syringe programs have resulted in enormous savings in both lives and dollars

Sixteen years after needle/syringe programs (NSPs) were first introduced in Australia, after a period of civil disobedience and amid intense controversy, the recent report Return on investment in needle and syringe programs in Australia1 has convincingly confirmed the effectiveness of NSPs in reducing HIV and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection among injecting drug users. The report also draws attention to the program's low cost and high cost-effectiveness.

  • Matthew G Law1
  • Robert G Batey2

  • 1 National Centre in HIV Epidemiology and Clinical Research, University of New South Wales, Darlinghurst, NSW.
  • 2 Division of Medicine, John Hunter Hospital, Newcastle, NSW.



Acknowledgement: The National Centre in HIV Epidemiology and Clinical Research is funded by the Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing.


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