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More drug users vaccinated against hepatitis B

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Two thirds of injecting drug users have been vaccinated against Hepatitis B, compared with only one in four a decade ago, says the Health Protection Agency.

However, improved vaccine uptake has not eradicated the infection, which is thought to infect one in six injecting drug users, according to the HPA report.

The prevalence of Hepatitis C and HIV is greater than a decade ago, with half of injecting drug users infected with Hepatitis C and one in 90 with HIV.

One third of injecting drug users have reported an abscess or open wound at injection sites in the past year, and more users are now injecting crack cocaine or into the groin, increasing their risks of infection.

Needle and syringe sharing has declined in recent years, with 90 per cent of users having visited a needle exchange at least once.

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