Needle and syringe programmes to prevent HCV and HIV infection and reduce injecting risk behaviours
Summary of the evidence
High NSP coverage (defined as regular attendance at an NSP or all injections being covered by a new needle/syringe) has been found to be effective in a a systematic review with meta-analysis (Platt et al., 2017, 28 studies, N= 11 070 PWID) in:
- reducing the risk of HCV acquisition by 76 % only in studies in Europe (RR 0.24, 95 % CI 0.09 to 0.62).
Another systematic review (Palmateer et al., 2022, 27 systematic review, 61 studies) confirmed the results and found sufficient evidence to support the effectiveness of OST in:
- the prevention of HCV transmission among PWID.
- the prevention of HIV transmission among PWID.
- reducing self-reported injecting risk behaviour among PWID