The proportion of NSP survey respondents that were Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders was used to estimate the number of needles and syringes distributed to this population. Other available data for this population subgroup were also used (see Appendix B).

The number of IDUs who are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders has been steadily increasing over the last decade. It is not precisely known how many needles and syringes are distributed through NSPs to this population group, but it is estimated that approximately 7.5-9% of all NSP clients are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The average frequency of injecting among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who are IDUs has been decreasing over the last decade, as has the average rate of sharing. Despite this, the prevalence of HCV among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander IDUs is estimated to be steadily increasing (probably due to the increasing population). It is known that the rate of HIV in this population is low with less than 1% of HIV detected over NSP survey collection period 1995-2007.