Broadening discussions of `safe` in hepatitis C prevention: A close-up of swabbing in an analysis of video recordings of injecting practice

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Blood awareness messages have been used for some years in hepatitis C prevention efforts. However, hepatitis C prevention education has achieved only limited success. Innovative means of reaching people who inject drugs (PWIDs) are required. This study involved video recording injecting episodes of 13 clients of the Sydney Medically Supervised Injecting Centre in Kings Cross. Participants were interviewed the following day and asked to review their video and comment on their injecting practice. Also, feedback was provided to the participants on injecting technique and hepatitis C prevention. A peer researcher was present and engaged the participant in discussion around safer practice and explored the participants` explanations of their practice. This analysis provides information about the common aspects of `safer` and `unsafer` injecting technique observed in the video recordings. Unsafer in this context was defined as any practice which could cause harm including blood borne virus transmission risks, vein damage and introduction of other pathogens to the blood stream. Analysis of the video data show that common `unsafer` practices which have implications for blood borne virus transmission include: not washing hands before injecting; using fingers to stop bleeding; wiping injection site with swab (instead of applying pressure) to stop bleeding after injecting; and using the same swab to wipe another site. Analysis of interview data provided participants` explanations of their practices. Analysis of the discussions between the interview team and the participant provides insight into the types of messages and communication strategies which had credibility with the participants. These data show that broadening of hepatitis C education discussions to include other aspects of `safer` injecting can be useful in engaging experienced PWIDs in prevention. Embedding blood borne virus prevention messages in discussions about vein care may provide innovative ways to reinvigora
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Treloar, Carla
Laybutt, Becky
Jauncey, Marianne
Van Beek, Ingrid
Lodge, M
Malpas, G
Carruthers, S
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