There is evidence that HIV-positive injecting drug users benefit less than other risk groups from highly active antiretroviral therapy that has been available since 1996. In this multicentre European study the impact of the availability of highly active antiretroviral therapy on the progression rates to AIDS and death among injecting drug users with a documented date of HIV seroconversion is studied. After highly active antiretroviral therapy became available the risk of AIDS and death for injecting drug users decreased by 28% and 36%, which is less than has been reported for other risk groups.

Received 31 January 2002. Accepted 16 July 2002.

Correspondence: Liselotte van Asten, Municipal Health Service Amsterdam, Cluster Infectious Diseases (room 106), Nieuwe Achtergracht 100, 1000 CE Amsterdam, The Netherlands, tel. +31 20 555 5569, fax +31 20 555 5533, e-mail: Lvasten@gggd.amsterdam.nl

Author notes

1Municipal Health Service, Division of Public Health and Environment, Amsterdam, The Netherlands 2SEROCO study group, Inserm U 292, Hôpital de Bicêtre, Le Kremlin Bicêtre, France 3Division of Infectious Diseases, Geneva University Hospital, Geneva, Switzerland 4Infectious Diseases Unit, Western General Hospital, Edinburgh, UK 5Edinburgh Drug Addiction Study, Muirhouse Medical Group, Edinburgh, UK 6On behalf of the Valencian HIV Seroconversion Study, Department of Public Health, Miguel Hernandez University, Alicante, Spain 7Scottish Centre for Infection and Environmental Health, Ruchill Hospital, Glasgow, UK 8AIDS Unit, University of Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria 9Academic Medical Centre, University of Amsterdam, Department of Human Retrovirology, Amsterdam, The Netherlands