Guidelines for testing HIV, viral hepatitis and other infections in injecting drug users


Infectious diseases are among the most serious health consequences of injecting drug use and can lead to significant healthcare costs. Injecting drug users are vulnerable to a range of infectious and communicable diseases through a variety of risk behaviours, and because of underlying conditions such as poor hygiene, homelessness and poverty. There is a recognised need for guidance on providing IDUs with a medical examination and testing for HIV, viral hepatitis and several other infections on a regular basis. In addition, improving testing uptake in this group would benefit epidemiological surveillance and monitoring as carried out at the national and international level. These guidelines are accompanied by a recommended package of prevention and primary care in relation to injecting drug users and infections. Treatment and other specialist care are not discussed in detail but are dealt with by indicating referral to appropriate services.

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Table of contents

  • Acknowledgements
  • Preface
  • Summary
  • Methodology and scope
  • Part 1: Guidelines for voluntary medical examination, testing and counselling
  • Chapter 1: Introduction
  • Chapter 2: Providing medical examination, testing and counselling to IDUs
  • Part 2: Background and implementation of the guidelines
  • Chapter 3: Background
  • Chapter 4: Implementation
  • References
  • Abbreviations
  • Glossary