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Curtin University
National Drug Research Institute

Preventing Harmful Drug Use In Australia

Hepatitis C, Prisons and Treatment Opportunities (HePATO)

Project Team

Principal Investigator:

Professor Tony Butler, Kirby Institute, University of New South Wales

Contact Person:

Professor Tony Butler, Kirby Institute, University of New South Wales


Despite the availability of an effective treatment for hepatitis C and the high prevalence of infection among Australian prisoners treatment uptake is extremely low. Using survey data and qualitative interviews with prisoners and prison health staff this project will investigate the structural and cultural barriers which limit access to treatment and care. The project will also estimate the public health benefits which would result if the uptake of treatment was to reach its full potential.


Yap, L., Carruthers, S., Thompson, S., Cheng, W.S., Jones, J., Simpson, P., Richards, A., Thein, H., Haber, P., Lloyd, A. and Butler, T. (2014). A descriptive model of patient readiness, motivators, and hepatitis C treatment uptake among Australian prisoners. PloS One, 9, (2), pp. e87564. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0087564 [RJ1011] Paper

Fetherston, J., Carruthers, S., Butler, T., Wilson, D. and Sindicich, N. (2013). Rates of injection in prison in a sample of Australian-injecting drug users. Journal of Substance Use, 18, (1), pp. 65-73. DOI: 10.3109/14659891.2012.760008 [RJ865] Paper