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The systematic collection of behavioural information is an important component of second-generation HIV surveillance. The extent of behavioural surveillance among injecting drug users (IDUs) in Europe was examined using data collected through a questionnaire sent to all 31 countries of the European Union and European Free Trade Association as part of a European-wide behavioural surveillance mapping study on HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. The questionnaire was returned by 28 countries during August to September 2008: 16 reported behavioural surveillance studies (two provided no further details). A total of 12 countries used repeated surveys for behavioural surveillance and five used their Treatment Demand Indicator system (three used both approaches). The data collected focused on drug use, injecting practices, testing for HIV and hepatitis C virus and access to healthcare. Eight countries had set national indicators: three indicators were each reported by five countries: the sharing any injecting equipment, uptake of HIV testing and uptake of hepatitis C virus testing. The recall periods used varied. Seven countries reported conducting one-off behavioural surveys (in one country without a repeated survey, these resulted an informal surveillance structure). All countries used convenience sampling, with service-based recruitment being the most common approach. Four countries had used respondent-driven sampling. Three fifths of the countries responding (18/28) reported behavioural surveillance activities among IDUs; however, harmonisation of behavioural surveillance indicators is needed.


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