Hungary Country Drug Report 2019

Drug-related infectious diseases

In Hungary, data on drug-related infectious diseases are available from the National Registry of Infected Patients and the special human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immune deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) and hepatitis surveillance database, which are complemented by the nationwide seroprevalence surveys on infectious diseases among people who inject drugs (PWID) that have been carried out since 2006.

One newly diagnosed case of HIV infection linked to injecting drug use was reported in Hungary in 2017. The number of registered acute hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections attributed to injecting drug use increased notably between 2006 and 2012, while the number of hepatitis B virus (HBV) infections linked to injecting drug use remains low.

Prevalence of HIV and HCV antibodies among people who inject drugs in Hungary (%)
  Region HCV HIV
Data from 2015.
  National 49.7 0.2
  Sub-national 40.5 - 55.3 :

Since 2011, HCV prevalence among PWID has almost doubled. It is now estimated that half of PWID test positive for HCV antibodies. One study indicated that 8 out of 10 PWID reporting current injection of new psychoactive substances (NPS) were HCV positive. The increase in HCV prevalence may be explained by new patterns of injecting drug use; in particular, NPS are injected more frequently and, as a result, sharing and reusing injecting equipment has become more common. In 2015, one HIV-positive individual was identified in the seroprevalence survey carried out among 596 PWID.

The results of the same survey suggested that 4 out of 10 PWID had shared syringes in the past 4 weeks, while more than half reported sharing any injecting equipment in the past 4 weeks. Moreover, sharing injecting equipment was more commonly reported among NPS injectors. The same survey indicated that less than one third of PWID had never been tested for HIV, while slightly more than one third of PWID, excluding those who self-reported HCV-positive status, stated that they had never been tested for HCV.

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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.