The Battle for Harm Reduction Continues in Budapest
The HCLU’s Drugreporter has warned that rates of hepatitis-C infection among injecting drug users in Budapest almost doubled between 2011 and 2014 – in a period when access to harm reduction programs rapidly decreased.18 May 2015
The Hungarian Civil Liberties Union (HCLU) obtained public data from the National Centre for Epidemiology (OEK) about the results of the annual national testing campaign they conducted in 2014. Drug reporter submitted a freedom of information request, because the data had not been published for a year, even though the government received the information in September. They suspect the data were kept back for political reasons.
They learned that between March and May 2014, over 600 injecting drug users were tested for hepatitis-C and HIV, at 19 harm reduction service locations. Two people tested positive for HIV, and 279 tested positive for hepatitis-C. While rates of hepatitis-C infection had remained stable between 2006 and 2011, they increased sharply between 2011 and 2014. This means that the prevalence of HCV among injecting drug users rose from 34 percent to 60 percent
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