The aim of the Needle Exchange Surveillance Initiative is to measure and monitor the prevalence of blood-borne viruses – hepatitis C virus and HIV – and injecting risk behaviours among people who inject drugs (PWID) in Scotland.

NESI provides information to evaluate and better target interventions aimed at reducing the spread of infection amongst PWID.

This latest report presents the results at:

  • Scotland level across seven surveys – from 2008 to 2009 through to 2019 to 2020
  • NHS board level for the 2019 to 2020 survey – for eight of the 11 mainland Scottish NHS boards

The initiative was initially funded by the Scottish Government as part of the Hepatitis C Action Plan, which stated that efforts to prevent hepatitis C virus (HCV) in Scotland must focus on preventing transmission of the virus among PWID.

More recently, however, the initiative has been funded under the Scottish Government’s Sexual Health and Blood Borne Virus Framework.

The most recent survey conducted in 2019 to 2020 was supported by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Programme Grants for Applied Research Programme. It was part of the ‘Evaluating the Population Impact of Hepatitis C Direct Acting Antiviral Treatment as Prevention for People Who Inject Drugs’ (EPIToPe) study.

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Older versions of this publication

Versions of this publication released before 16 March 2020 may be found on the Data and Intelligence, Health Protection Scotland or Improving Health websites.

Last updated: 07 October 2022
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