An analysis of 'blood awareness' for the purposes of hepatitis C prevention, education and health promotion

Project Status: Archive
People Involved: Carla Treloar
Research Areas: Viral Hepatitis, Injecting Drug Use & Harm Reduction
Funding Agency: NSW Health

The promotion of ‘blood awareness’ has been identified as a key strategy for containing the spread of blood-borne viruses. However, the development of a heightened awareness of blood as a source of infection requires consideration of many sensitive social and health implications, such as increased phobias about blood, which can be linked to discrimination around injecting drug use, and racial, ethnic and sexual identity categories. This study aims to identify the different ways in which individuals and communities of individuals relate to their own blood and the blood of others, to determine the extent to which understandings of blood play a role in hepatitis C transmission and thus its prevention, and to produce a typology of the ways in which blood can be characterised for effective health promotion. Seventy-eight interviews were completed and preliminary analysis of some of the data has taken place. Data collection and analysis was completed in 2003. Funds were obtained from NSW Health to conduct a research feedback session in May 2003 with 100 stakeholders from around New South Wales were invited to consider the project’s results and innovations in health promotion and to discuss the NSW Health Promotion Plan for Hepatitis C. Also, the report, Blood awareness in hepatitis C prevention, was launched in October 2003 and a number of publications produced in 2004.