Hepatitis C virus infections affect around 170 million people worldwide, the majority of them are injecting drug users. The greatest risk of transmission among consumers is sharing injection equipment, a practice that means that more than 50% of people using injected drugs have hepatitis C. This project will study the risk factors and how to communicate this information so as to develop interventions to reduce the risk of contagion.
This project is framed within one of the main objectives of the EU Drugs Strategy (2005-2012) aiming to prevent and reduce drug dependence and to protect users from risks inherent to drug use, especially among vulnerable groups and people living in socially disadvantaged areas. The EU drugs action plan 2009-2012 highlights the need to further improve the effectiveness of measures to reduce drug use and its consequences by improving the quality and effectiveness of harm reduction interventions and evaluating prevention and intervention programmes to prevent high risk behaviour among the most vulnerable groups, including injecting drug users.
The specific objectives of the REDUCE project are: