Australasia (Australia and New Zealand) is home to approximately 170,000 people who inject drugs, 1.5% of whom are estimated to be living with HIV. Data on drug use and HIV prevalence among people who use drugs in the Pacific Island states and territories (PICTs) are largely unavailable, although there are indications that injecting drug use is contributing to HIV transmission.
Early adoption of harm reduction in both Australia and New Zealand is often credited for the low HIV prevalence among their injecting populations. Australia continues to be the only country in the region to include a drug consumption room within its harm reduction response.
Both Australia and New Zealand include supportive references to harm reduction in national policies on HIV and/or drugs. However, government funding for harm reduction initiatives remains limited in Australia.
Prisoners do not have access to sterile injecting equipment across the region, but opioid substitution therapy is available in most Australian and New Zealand prisons.
* Please refer to the table below for ranges, where these are available. The maps display midpoint averages only.
|Country/territory with reported injecting drug use||People who inject drugsa||HIV prevalence amongst people who inject drugs||Hepatitis C antibody (anti-HCV) prevalence among people who inject drugs1||Hepatitis B surface antigen (anti-HBsAg) prevalence among people who inject drugs1||Harm reduction responseb|
|Australia||149,591 (89,253–204,564)||1.02||54.6 (41.2–68)||4 (2.9–5)||Y(1,372) (P)||Y(2,132) (B,M)||Y|
|New Zealand||20,163 (13,535–26,792)||0.42||51.9||2.8 (1.2–4.4)||Y(>200)4 (P)||Y(B,M)||N|
|Papua New Guinea||nk||nk||nk||nk||N||N||N|
nk = not known
a Unless otherwise stated, data are sourced from Mathers B et al. for the Reference Group to the UN on HIV and Injecting Drug Use (2008) Global epidemiology of injecting drug use and HIV among people who inject drugs: a systematic review, Lancet, 372 (9651):1733–1745.
b Unless otherwise stated, data on NSP and OST coverage are sourced from Mathers B, Degenhardt L, Ali H, Wiessing L, Hickman M, Mattick RP, Myers B, Ambekar A & Strathdee SA for the Reference Group to the United Nations on HIV and Injecting Drug Use (2010) HIV prevention, treatment and care for people who inject drugs: A systematic review of global, regional and country level coverage, Lancet 375 (9719):1014–28.
c The number in brackets represents the number of operational NSP sites, including fixed sites, vending machines and mobile NSPs operating from a vehicle or through outreach workers. (P) = needles and syringes reported to be available for purchase from pharmacies or other outlets, and (NP) = needles and syringes not available for purchase.
d The number in brackets represents the number of operational OST programmes, including publicly and privately funded clinics and pharmacy dispensing programmes. (M) = methadone, (B) = buprenorphine, (O) = any other form (including morphine and codeine).
e DCR = Drug consumption room.
1 Nelson PK, Mathers BM, Cowie B, Hagan H, Des Jarlais D, Horyniak D & Degenhardt L (2011) Global epidemiology of hepatitis B and hepatitis C in people who inject drugs: results of systematic reviews, Lancet, 378 (9791): 571–583.
2 UNAIDS (2012) Global AIDS Progress Reporting, http://www.unaids.org/en/dataanalysis/monitoringcountryprogress/progressreports/2012countries/ Accessed 15 May 2012.