|Released: May 2011
Injecting drug use among Aboriginal people in New South Wales
Monique McEwan1, Dana Paquette2 and Joanne Bryant3
The National Centre in HIV Social Research and the Aboriginal Health and Medical Research Council of NSW announce the release of a jointly produced research brief: Injecting drug use among Aboriginal people in NSW.
This research brief describes patterns of injecting drug use and blood borne virus (BBV)-related risk practices among a sample of Aboriginal people who inject drugs (PWID) who were recruited from pharmacies in NSW. Compared to non-Aboriginal respondents, Aboriginal respondents had significantly more risk factors for the acquisition of hepatitis C, including being more likely to have been in prison in the previous year, inject on a daily basis, share ancillary equipment, and have poorer hepatitis C-related knowledge. Importantly, Aboriginal respondents
were no more or less likely to have used services such as hepatitis C testing and drug treatment.
The project was conducted through a research internship offered to the Aboriginal Health & Medical Research Council of NSW and the National Centre in HIV Social Research, and supported by the Consortium for Social and Policy Research on HIV, Hepatitis C and Related Diseases. A reference group consisting of key Aboriginal people with expertise in BBV and harm minimization contributed to the governance of the project by providing expert guidance about Aboriginal cultural protocols and sensitivity and ensuring Aboriginal community control of the project.
Members of the group were Kristie Harrison (Aboriginal Drug and Alcohol Network Project Officer at the Aboriginal Health and Medical Research Council of NSW), Peter Patterson (State-wide Aboriginal Sexual Health Coordinator, Hunter New England Local Health District), Peter Waples-Crowe (Healthy Living Team Leader, Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation Inc.) and James Ward (Program Head, Senior Lecturer, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Program, The Kirby Institute ).
1Ms Monique McEwan is the Harm Minimisation Officer at the Aboriginal Health and Medical Research Council of NSW.
2Dr Joanne Bryant is a Senior Research Fellow at the National Centre in HIV Social Research.
3Dr Dana Paquette was a PhD student at the National Centre in HIV Social Research at the time of the study, and is now located at the Canadian Public Health Agency in Ottawa, Canada.