Poland Country Drug Report 2019

Drug-related infectious diseases

In Poland, data on human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections are collected by the National Institute of Public Health — National Institute of Hygiene (NIPH-NIH). Out of the total number of new cases of HIV infection notified in 2017, an estimated 6 % were attributed to injecting drug use. Overall, the number of newly reported cases of HIV infection among people who inject drugs (PWID) indicates a downward trend. However, the transmission route remains unreported in a large proportion of new cases of HIV infection.

Prevalence of HIV and HCV antibodies among people who inject drugs in Poland (%)
  Region HCV HIV
Data from 2017.
National 57.9 :
Sub-national 38.0 - 75.8 14.0 - 21.2

Notification data on HCV and HBV infections indicate that fewer than 1 in 10 chronic HCV infections in which the transmission route was known in 2016 were attributed to injecting drug use, while only a few cases of chronic HBV infection were linked to injecting drug use. In a seroprevalence study conducted in 2017 in low-threshold services of four cities, the prevalence of HCV antibodies among PWID ranged from 38 % to 75.8 %, while the prevalence of people testing positive for the HBV surface antigen (HBsAg), which indicates chronic HBV infection, ranged from 2 % to 5.4 %.

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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.