Transmitted through the sharing of needles, syringes and, unlike HIV, other injecting-related equipment, hepatitis C is the most common infectious disease among people who inject drugs. On average 60% of peoplw who inject drugs (PWID) are estimated to have hepatitis C in Europe and in several countries the vast majority, over 90%, of people who inject drugs are believed to be living with hepatitis C. While the HIV epidemic is stabilizing overall across the EU, hepatitis C is increasingly prevalent and disproportionately affects drug users.
This report outlines interventions for tackling hepatitis C in drug injecting populations in Europe and the surrounding area. These approaches are detailed in the context of the major common challenges faced across the region in addressing hepatitis C in PWID populations. Based on the insights of these interventions as well as the issues that each is working to address, the report concludes that while there are many barriers to delivering hepatitis C prevention, diagnosis, care and support services to PWID, these interventions demonstrate that through effective service provision these can be reduced and, in many cases, removed. Models of how this can be achieved are increasingly numerous and varied, and much can be learned from, and achieved through, working together.