Tuesday 13 November, 12–1 pm
Sydney west NSP project, materiality, and PhD matters
Location: Room 119, Level 1, John Goodsell Building.
Map reference C20.
Approximately 300,000 Australians have been infected with hepatitis C (HCV), placing a $252 million burden on the government annually. This group of Australians stands to lose an estimated 600,605 discounted quality-adjusted life years (QALYs), compared to a healthy comparison group. Needle and syringe (NSP) programs have been very effective at preventing the spread of blood-borne viruses (BBVs) such as HIV and HCV and it has been estimated that NSPs in New South Wales have averted roughly 23,000 HIV infections and 32,000 HCV
This presentation will be comprised of several parts. First, it will provide an overview of the Sydney west NSP project to provide some context, as my PhD thesis will draw on data from this project. Next, there will be a discussion of Karen Barad's notion of agential realism and diffraction. This discussion will include an exploration of Bennett's thing-power materialism and Vitellone's notion of the syringe as a prosthetic. The presentation will consider the usefulness of these concepts in understanding the syringe in terms of gender
relations/differences within injecting couples in the context of NSP clients (in western Sydney). Finally, where possible, some initial observations from ongoing data collection will be discussed.
Kenneth Yates is a PhD candidate at the National Centre in HIV Social Research, University of New South Wales. Ken completed his BA (Hons) in Media and Communications at the University of New South Wales and a Master of Policy and Applied Social Research from Macquarie University. He is currently involved in a research project focusing on needle and syringe programs (NSPs) in Western Sydney. The project aims to profile NSP clients and the different modes of service delivery that they access. Ken’s research interests include the representation of
drug-using bodies in popular discourse, gender, and the performativity of objects such as the needle and syringe.