Study processes and outputs

Researchers at the Centre for Social Research in Health, in collaboration with the Social Policy Research Centre and The Burnet Institute, received funding from the Australian Research Council to conduct a three-year Discovery Project (DP160100134) to document – for the first time – firsthand accounts of what serodiscordance (mixed infection status) in the context of everyday family life.

We have interviewed individuals with direct lived experiences, and family members of people with those direct lived experiences, to understand what families mean in the context of stigmatised infectious disease, what stigmatised infectious diseases mean in the context of everyday family life, and how to build on the contributions of families to enhance the prevention, management and treatment of these infections.

Drawing on further interviews with stakeholders in the health and social care sectors, we will also build a critical theory of serodiscordance in order to extend beyond a biomedical focus on individual health and transmission risk in couples to encompass a broader and more relational understanding of wellbeing.

In addition to academic publications, we will produce a research report and summary and host a webinar on what the findings mean for communities and services in the final year of the study. Policy and practice recommendations will focus on improving the experience of diagnosis, treatment and care for individuals and families, and challenging the silence and stigma that continue to be associated with these infections. All study activities will be conducted in consultation with an advisory committee of peak NSW organisations working to promote the prevention and treatment of infectious diseases and/or family wellbeing.

Publications

Persson, A., Newman, C., Hamilton, M., Bryant, J., Wallace, J., valentine, k.  (2017) Families living with blood-borne viruses: the case for extending the concept of “serodiscordance”. Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Infectious Diseases. Volume 2017, Article ID 4352783, 10 pages.  https://doi.org/10.1155/2017/4352783 [Free access]

Newman, C.E., Persson, A, Ellard, J. (2018) When HIV figures in family life: exploring the relational reach of serodiscordance. Published online in Sexuality and Culture on 5 July 2018. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12119-018-9542-2

Newman, C. (2018) Queer families: valuing stories of adversity, diversity and belonging. Published online in Culture, Health and Sexuality on 31 May 2018. https://doi.org/10.1080/13691058.2018.1468032

Newman, C., Persson, A., Bryant, J. (2016) My health, our family: documenting stories of family life in the context of HIV, hepatitis B or hepatitis. Annual Report of Trends in Behaviour 2016: HIV/AIDS, hepatitis and sexually transmissible infections in Australia, Centre for Social Research in Health: 79-80. https://csrh.arts.unsw.edu.au/research/publications/reports-trends-in-behavior/