How can we strengthen the role of families in the response to blood borne viruses?

The clinical management of blood borne viruses has changed rapidly in recent years, but social stigma remains a persistent issue. Anecdotally, we know that families living with serodiscordance (i.e. mixed infection status) play a critical role in supporting those who have been diagnosed with HIV, hepatitis B and/or hepatitis C. And yet both research and policy responses have remained largely focused on the affected individual.

In this seminar, we will discuss key findings from the first qualitative interview study to explore how Australian families respond to and are affected by blood borne viruses. Although the concept of ‘family’, much like those of ‘care’ and ‘risk’, is neither simple nor static, our findings suggest there could be many benefits in more deliberately recognising and supporting the role of families in remediating the health and social impacts of these infections.

Associate Professor Christy Newman conducts social research on health, gender and sexuality, with a focus on communities affected by stigma, prejudice and marginalisation.

Dr Asha Persson is a Senior Research Fellow at CSRH, where she has conducted a range of qualitative projects on various cultural and lived aspects of HIV, with a particular focus on under-researched populations.

Dr Kerryn Drysdale is a Research Fellow at CSRH. Her current area of research lies at the intersection of social inquiry and public health for marginalised populations.

Anthony K J Smith is a Scientia PhD Candidate and research assistant at CSRH. He researches social aspects of health, HIV, PrEP, gender, and sexuality.

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