The extent of injection site infection in injecting drug users: findings from a national surveillance study.
- Publisher: Cambridge University Press (CUP)
Injection site infections in injecting drug users (IDUs) are associated with serious morbidity and healthcare costs. Factors associated with symptoms of these were examined through annual (2006-2008) unlinked-anonymous survey of IDUs in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Overall 36% (1863/5209) self-reported having a symptom with no trend over time (35% 2006, 37% 2007, 34% 2008). Symptoms were less common in the North East of England; increased with years injecting; and were higher in women, those recently homeless, those recently using a needle exchange, and those injecting both opiates and stimulants. Of those injecting during the previous 4 weeks (n=3733) symptoms were associated with: injecting daily; injecting >or=10 times a day; injecting into hands, groin, or legs; sharing filters; and reusing water to flush syringes. Symptoms of injection site infections are common in IDUs. Better-targeted preventive interventions are needed, and continued surveillance should assist with assessing the impact of new initiatives.