Multiple Stigmas, Shame and Historical Trauma Compound the Experience of Aboriginal Australians Living with Hepatitis C

By Treloar, Carla; Jackson, L. Clair et al. | Health Sociology Review, January 1, 2016 | Go to article overview

Multiple Stigmas, Shame and Historical Trauma Compound the Experience of Aboriginal Australians Living with Hepatitis C


Treloar, Carla, Jackson, L. Clair, Gray, Rebecca, Newland, Jamee, Wilson, Hannah, Saunders, Veronica, Johnson, Priscilla, Brener, Loren, Health Sociology Review


Introduction

It is well established that stigma contributes to the burden associated with an illness or health condition (Earnshaw & Quinn, 2012) and to shaping inequalities in health outcomes (Hatzenbuehler, Phelan, & Link, 2013). Previous writers have emphasised the importance of considering relational and structural elements in the study of healthrelated stigma. These authors argue that individualistic notions of stigma, focusing on the beliefs and attitudes of those who stigmatise others, obscure the social processes of power and control that lie behind the marking of individuals or groups for social exclusion (Parker & Aggleton, 2003; Scambler, 2006). Examining the experience of minority populations in living with a stigmatised condition brings to the foreground notions of stigma as a multi-level construct (Cook, Purdie-Vaughns, Meyer, & Busch, 2014). In this study of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians (hereafter referred to as Aboriginal Australians) living with hepatitis C (HCV) in New South Wales (NSW), it is clear that a conceptualisation of stigma that incorporates social, cultural and historical forces is required when considering the experience of a minority community living with a socially maligned infectious disease that is associated with a criminal activity (injecting illegal drugs).

HCV is a major public health challenge. HCV is transmitted via blood to blood contact, hence practices which penetrate the skin such as unsterile medical procedures, tattooing and piercing can lead to transmission of the virus. In Australia, approximately 90% of new infections are associated with the use of unsterile equipment for injecting drugs (Gidding et al., 2009). Chronic infection occurs in approximately 75% of those exposed to the virus (Gidding et al., 2009). A smaller proportion, less than 10% of those chronically infected, will go on to develop serious advanced liver disease, cirrhosis or liver cancer (Grebely & Dore, 2012).

Aboriginal Australians are identified as a key priority group for national efforts to address HCV. The Australian Aboriginal population is over-represented in both the prevalence of HCV and incidence of newly reported HCV infections. In 2008, approximately 16,000 Aboriginal Australians were estimated to be living with chronic HCV infection, representing around 8.3% of the total Australian population living with chronic HCV at the time (National Centre in HIV Epidemiology and Clinical Research, 2008); Aboriginal Australians comprise approximately 3% of the population (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2012a). In 2011, there were 652 new cases of HCV infection reported among the Aboriginal population representing 6.4% of all new infections (Kirby Institute, 2012). Additionally, the rate of HCV diagnosis in 2011 for Aboriginal Australians was more than six times higher than the rate in 15-19 and 20-29 age groups compared with nonAboriginal populations. These data parallel infection rates among Canadian Inuit and First Nations populations who have similar patterns of colonisation and socio-economic disadvantage (Rempel & Uhanova, 2012; Wu et al., 2007).

Epidemiological research and surveillance data show that Aboriginal Australians are over-represented in groups most at risk of HCV. Aboriginal Australians comprise approximately 11-12% of the sample collected in annual, national surveillance studies of more than 2000 participants conducted in Needle and Syringe Programs (Iversen & Maher, 2013) and 15-20% among participants recruited from pharmacies in NSW that distributed equipment for injecting drug use (Bryant, Wilson, Hull, & Treloar, 2010). Aboriginal people constitute approximately 27% of the Australian prison population (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2012b). Australian data show HCV rates of 50% among adult prison inmates with a history of injecting drug use (49% for men and 68% for women) (Butler, Lim, & Callander, 2011) and HCV rates of 7. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Multiple Stigmas, Shame and Historical Trauma Compound the Experience of Aboriginal Australians Living with Hepatitis C
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.