Publications & Reports

Professional perspectives on serodiscordant family service provision in the context of blood-borne viruses.

Drysdale K, Persson A, Smith AKJ, Wallace J, Valentine K, Gray RM, Bryant J, Hamilton M, Newman CE
Centre for Social Research in Health, UNSW Sydney, Sydney, Australia.


In recognition of the broader relational aspects of viral infections, family support is considered important when someone is diagnosed with a blood-borne virus (BBV), such as HIV, hepatitis C (HCV) and hepatitis B (HBV). However, families' own support needs are often not a priority in service provision within the BBV sector. In this article, we draw on qualitative interviews with 20 key informants working in various professional capacities in health, social policy, care and advocacy sectors in Australia, and explore their experiences and perspectives on family inclusivity in their services. Overall, key informants acknowledged the diversity of what constitutes family, and consistently viewed family engagement as beneficial to both diagnosed individuals and the wider familial networks affected by a diagnosis. However, prioritising individual care in support services presented barriers to engaging families, which are further complicated by the role of stigma in shaping the social realities of living with a BBV. Increasing understanding in service provision settings that serodiscordance can be a family experience has the potential to widen this analytic lens to consider the support needs of families in their own right.

Link to publisher’s web site


  • Journal: Health Sociology Review
  • Published: 01/01/2023
  • Volume: Epub ahead of print
  • Pagination: 1-16