Characterising behaviours associated with hepatitis C transmission and protection and the impact of prevention measures on incident infection among prisoners: risk of hepatitis C in prison

Project Status: Archive
People Involved: Carla Treloar
Research Areas: Viral Hepatitis, Injecting Drug Use & Harm Reduction
Funding Agency: NHMRC Partnership Project Grant, Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing
Partners / Collaborators: NSW Justice & Forensic Mental Health NetworkCorrective Services NSW

The literature concerning risk environments for blood-borne virus transmission within prisons is small, and no research has been conducted in Australian settings. Some work in other countries has highlighted the limitations of epidemiological data in understanding the social relationships facilitating the risk of transmission of blood-borne viruses in relation to prison tattooing. Further, and in relation to violence in prison, some authors have called for a greater emphasis on situational factors rather than reproducing understandings based on individual factors. This research will explore the complex and interrelated nature of practices and environments surrounding hepatitis C risk (and prevention strategies). The project will employ qualitative techniques allowing participants to discuss and explore the practices and settings in which they engage that have been epidemiologically associated with hepatitis C risk. A sample of 30 inmates will be drawn from the ongoing HITS-p cohort that comprises men and women in NSW prisons with a history of injecting drug use. Previous responses to the HITS-p surveillance surveys will be used to recruit inmates with varying hepatitis C status (unexposed, recent infection, chronic infection) and who report varying exposures to hepatitis C (injecting drug use only; injecting drug use and tattooing/violence; tattooing/violence only).


Treloar, C., McCredie, L., & Lloyd, A. R. (2015). Acquiring hepatitis C in prison: the social organisation of injecting risk. Harm Reduct J, 12, 10. doi: 10.1186/s12954-015-0045-2. Link to article