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 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.
- Injecting drug-users (IDUs)
- skin infections