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Curtin University
National Drug Research Institute

Preventing Harmful Drug Use In Australia

Hepatitis C and its treatment in Australian custodial settings - PhD Project

Project Team

Principal Investigator:

James Fetherston, National Drug Research Institute, Curtin University

Contact Person:

James Fetherston, National Drug Research Institute, Curtin University


This thesis attempts to explore some of the research gaps pertaining to hepatitis C virus (HCV) in custodial settings. Using both quantitative and qualitative methods, various aspects of the problem identified as areas of interest will be dealt with as a series of related yet separate and distinct studies.

The first of these will employ mathematical modelling methods to determine likely number of incident infections whilst incarcerated and potential effects on treatment provided at optimal levels. The second study employs qualitative methods using focus groups and in-depth interviews of current and ex-prisoners to explore understandings of HCV and perceived barriers to prevention and treatment initiatives, with specific regard to identifying differences between mainstream prisoners and those identifying as Aboriginal. Thirdly explorations of the nature of drug use and markets within prisons will be conducted with a large national sample using modules appended to the Illicit Drug Reporting System (IDRS).