Understanding the family life of transmissible infections

Date: Tuesday, 10 September 2019
Time: 3.45 pm – 5.05 pm
Location: Gallery 1 (Ground floor)
Chair: Christy Newman

As the management of blood borne viruses undergoes rapid change, the families of those affected by HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C are also living through and responding to those changes. Yet both health and social policy responses have remained largely focused on the individual, with less known about the role and experiences of families. The ‘my health, our family’ study was funded by an Australian Research Council Discovery Project Grant, bringing together expertise in the social aspects of infectious disease and on care, families, and social policy. This qualitative study was the first to document the stories of Australian families affected by stigmatized transmissible infections, and to gather the insights of stakeholders working in health and social policy. This symposium will feature a series of presentations from members of the research team who will each discuss a number of key findings with the aim of extending understandings of how serodiscordance (i.e., mixed infection status) is enacted and managed in everyday family life. We also aim to build policy and practice recommendations for how knowledge about the family life of transmissible infections can inform the design and delivery of services, and to deepen knowledge on how contemporary families are constructed in the context of health and illness. To facilitate discussion, the session will be streamed online, so community members, policymakers and clinicians located in different parts of Australia can take part, to help us ensure that the study can make valuable and enduring contributions to both health and social policy.