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 Queensland injecting drug survey (QuIDS)

Queensland injecting drug survey (QuIDS)

QuIDS is a collaboration between QADREC, QH, the Queensland Aboriginal Health Council (QAIHC) and the National Centre for HIV Epidemiology and Clinical Research (NCHECR) at the University of New South Wales 

Funding: $200,000 from Queensland Health’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health development branch.

Project Team

Project Advisory Group:  Coralie Ober, Jake Najman, Andrew Young (QH), Robert Kemp(QH), James Ward (NCHECR), Vanessa Gela (QuIHN), Sidney Williams (QAIHC)

Chief Investigators: Jake Najman, Sidney Williams, James Ward, Robert Kemp

Associate Investigators: Andrew Conroy, Abhi Dev, & Suzanna Henderson.

The project also relies on the support and involvement of a number of local organisations throughout Queensland, including; Needle and Syringe Programs, Community Controlled Organisations, Queensland Injectors Health Network (QuIHN), and Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs (ATODS).


Injecting drug use is an important health issue affecting both individuals and communities throughout Queensland. While there is growing concern about injecting drug use among people of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) descent, there is little quantitative research in this area. Key policy initiatives at the national and state levels have identified Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as a priority population for research. Resolutions from the NIDAC 2010 conference states:  “That as injecting drug use is increasing at a concerning rate in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations there is a need for increased attention to address the risk of HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C transmission amongst Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.”

This project will recruit and conduct structured interviews with 600 people, from a number of urban and regional centres throughout Queensland, who inject drugs. Participants will complete a questionnaire about patterns of use, levels of drug dependence, blood borne viruses, risky behaviour and the different social, cultural and health issues that may relate to the outcomes of injecting drug use. This study is unique as it will recruit both a large sample group of 300 Indigenous participants and a large comparison group of 300 non-Indigenous participants, allowing the researchers to examine the similarities and differences in the experiences of these two groups.

Primary aims

The major aims of this research are as follows:

·         Evaluate the patterns of Indigenous injecting drug use in Queensland, including the nature of dependence and transitions to injecting

·         Review demographic and social characteristics of diverse user populations

·         Review the mental health status of Indigenous injecting drug users (IDU)

·         Assess the prevalence of blood-borne viral infections and other injection related health issues in both Indigenous and non-Indigenous IDU

·         Assess behavioural aspects of injecting drug use, including the relationship between injecting drug use and engagement in other illicit activities

·         Determine 'user-understandings' of injection and associated risks

·         Evaluate 'user-perception' of existing programs and services, including the Needle and Syringe Programs

Comparisons for all aims will be made between Indigenous and non-Indigenous IDUs.

Further aims:

·         Help to facilitate peer education through extensive IDU networks in Queensland

·         Foster closer relationships between health services for drug users and Indigenous IDU within a coordinated care framework

·         Provide peer education initiatives for Indigenous IDUs

·         Assist in developing the evidence base for initiatives to ’Close the Gap’

2010 highlights

Funding received and formation of project advisory group and project team 

Development of methodology and questionnaire in consultation with advisory group and principle investigators

Consultation with local organisations and recruitment of local supervisor at each of the study sites

2011 aims

Conduct 600 interviewers with IDUs across Queensland

  •  Data collection will cease mid-2011, with a projected total of 600 participants, including a 50% participation rate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander IDUs
  • Interviewers and supervisors will reconvene to interpret the data

A project report will be submitted to QH ATSI development branch

  •  Easy-to-understand findings will be disseminated to local organisations, supervisors and participants
  • A number of papers will be prepared for submission