France Country Drug Report 2019

Drug-related infectious diseases

In France, data on drug-related infectious diseases are collected from the national human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immune deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) monitoring database, coordinated by the French Public Health Agency, and from self-reported or biological testing data from clients attending addiction treatment and prevention centres (CSAPAs) or harm reduction facilities (CAARUDs). Studies on HIV and hepatitis C virus (HCV) prevalence among people who inject drugs (PWID) were carried out in 2004 and 2011 (the Coquelicot study). The 2011 study indicated that HIV prevalence was 13 % among PWID, while nearly 64 % of PWID tested positive for HCV.

Prevalence of HIV and HCV antibodies among people who inject drugs in France (%)
  Region HCV HIV
Data from 2015 (HIV) (based on self-reports) and from 2011 (HCV).
National : 4.7
Sub-national 63.8 :

Despite the introduction of compulsory notification for symptomatic acute hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection in 2003, it is estimated that only a small proportion of HBV-positive individuals are reported. HCV infection is not on the list of notifiable diseases in France.

In 2017, 43 cases of newly diagnosed HIV infections were related to injecting drug use, which constituted less than 2 % of all new HIV diagnoses during that year. The number of HIV seropositive diagnoses associated with drug use has been declining in recent years.

Additional data on the prevalence of drug-related infectious diseases are based on self-reporting by PWID attending CSAPAs and CAARUDs; however, the reported prevalence may be underestimated, as many drug users do not know their status. In a 2015 study, 4.65 % of 1 764 PWID reported being HIV positive, which was in line with figures from 2012, while self-reported prevalence of HCV among injecting drug users remained stable during the same period.

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Methodological note: Analysis of trends is based only on those countries providing sufficient data to describe changes over the period specified. The reader should also be aware that monitoring patterns and trends in a hidden and stigmatised behaviour like drug use is both practically and methodologically challenging. For this reason, multiple sources of data are used for the purposes of analysis in this report. Caution is therefore required in interpretation, in particular when countries are compared on any single measure. Detailed information on methodology and caveats and comments on the limitations in the information set available can be found in the EMCDDA Statistical Bulletin.