CSIRO Publishing blank image blank image blank image blank imageBooksblank image blank image blank image blank imageJournalsblank image blank image blank image blank imageAbout Usblank image blank image blank image blank imageShopping Cartblank image blank image blank image You are here: Journals > Australian Journal of Primary Health   
Australian Journal of Primary Health
  The issues influencing community health services and primary health care
blank image Search
blank image blank image
blank image
  Advanced Search

Journal Home
About the Journal
Editorial Board
Online Early
Current Issue
Just Accepted
All Issues
Special Issues
Sample Issue
For Authors
General Information
Instructions to Authors
Submit Article
Open Access
For Referees
Referee Guidelines
Review an Article
Annual Referee Index
For Subscribers
Subscription Prices
Customer Service
Print Publication Dates

blue arrow e-Alerts
blank image
Subscribe to our email Early Alert or RSS feeds for the latest journal papers.

red arrow Connect with CP
blank image
facebook twitter youtube


Article << Previous     |     Next >>   Contents Vol 19(2)

Consideration of gender in diagnosis and management of blood-borne viruses: the case of hepatitis C

Anna Olsen A D , Meredith Temple-Smith B and Cathy Banwell C

A The Kirby Institute, The University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia.
B Department of General Practice, The University of Melbourne, 200 Berkeley Street, Parkville, Melbourne, Vic. 3054, Australia.
C National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health, The Australian National University, Canberra, ACT 0200, Australia.
D Corresponding author. Email: aolsen@kirby.unsw.edu.au

Australian Journal of Primary Health 19(2) 124-129 http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/PY11127
Submitted: 3 October 2011  Accepted: 6 May 2012   Published: 31 May 2012

PDF (187 KB) $25
 Export Citation

Gender-sensitive health education and clinical management are key components of successful care for people living with chronic illness, yet there is little research available on the specific needs of women living with hepatitis C viral (HCV) infection. This paper reports on a qualitative investigation of HCV diagnosis, symptoms, health care and wellbeing among 109 women living with HCV in two major cities in Australia. Women’s experiences of HCV reflect several gender-specific needs around diagnosis, reproductive health and psycho-social wellbeing. Personal relationships were central to women’s experiences of health and health care and remained dominant in their considerations for the future. Particularly because women are more likely than men to be responsible for family, we highlight the need to consider the social issues of stigma, poverty and drug use when caring for Australian women living with HCV.

Additional keywords: drug use, patient perspective, reproductive health, women.


Abs R, Verhelst J, Maeyaert J, Van Buyten JP, Opsomer F, Adriaensen H, Verlooy J, Van Havenbergh T, Smet M, Van Acker K (2000) Endocrine consequences of long-term intrathecal administration of opioids. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism 85, 2215–2222.
CrossRef | CAS |

Bakr I, Rekacewicz C, El Hosseiny M, Ismail S, El Daly M, El-Kafrawy S, Esmat G, Hamid MA, Mohamed MK, Fontanet A (2006) Higher clearance of hepatitis C virus infection in females compared with males. Gut 55, 1183–1187.
CrossRef | CAS |

Banwell C, Bammer G, Gifford S, O’Brien M (2005) Australian lesbian and bisexual women’s health and social experiences of living with hepatitis C. Health Care for Women International 26, 340–354.
CrossRef |

Banwell C, Dance P, Olsen A, Dixon J (2009) It fucks your insides up: the potential effects of opioid use on women’s sexual and reproductive functioning. Women’s Health & Urban Life 8, 14–27.

Charles N, Walters V (2008) ‘Men are leavers alone and women are worriers’: gender differences in discourses of health. Health Risk & Society 10, 117–132.
CrossRef |

Clinical Practice Improvement Unit (2005) ‘Literature review for three centres antenatal care consensus guidelines.’ (The Royal Women’s Hospital: Melbourne)

Commonwealth of Australia (2010) Third national hepatitis C strategy 2010–2013. Available at http://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/ohp-national-strategies-2010-hcv/$File/hcv.pdf [Verified 25 May 2012]

Crockett B, Gifford SM (2004) ‘Eyes Wide Shut’: narratives of women living with hepatitis C in Australia. Women & Health 39, 117–137.
CrossRef |

Daniell HW (2008) Opioid endocrinopathy in women consuming prescribed sustained-action opioids for control of nonmalignant pain. The Journal of Pain 9, 28–36.
CrossRef | CAS |

Di Martino V, Lebray P, Myers RP, Pannier E, Paradis V, Charlotte F, Moussalli J, Thabut D, Buffet C, Poynard T (2004) Progression of liver fibrosis in women infected with hepatitis C: long-term benefit of estrogen exposure. Hepatology 40, 1426–1433.
CrossRef | CAS |

Doab A, Treloar C, Dore G (2005) Hepatitis C treatment knowledge, attitudes and barriers among current injecting drug users in Australia. Clinical Infectious Diseases 40, S313–S320.
CrossRef |

Doyal L (2001) Sex, gender, and health: the need for a new approach. British Medical Journal 323, 1061–1063.
CrossRef | CAS |

Dunne EA, Quayle E (2001) The impact of iatrogenically acquired hepatitis C infection on the well-being and relationships of a group of Irish women. Journal of Health Psychology 6, 679–692.
CrossRef | CAS |

Gifford SM, O’Brien ML, Bammer G, Banwell C, Stoové M (2003) Australian women’s experiences of living with hepatitis C virus: results from a cross-sectional survey. Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology 18, 841–850.
CrossRef |

Gifford SM, O’Brien ML, Smith A, Temple-Smith M, Drew M, Jolley D (2005) Australian men’s experiences of living with hepatitis C virus: results from a cross-sectional survey. Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology 20, 79–86.
CrossRef |

Giles M, Hellard M, Sasadeusz J (2003) Hepatitis C and pregnancy: an update. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology 43, 290–293.
CrossRef |

Hayashi J, Kishihara Y, Ueno K, Yamaji K, Kawakami Y, Furusyo N, Sawayama Y, Kashiwagi S (1998) Age-related response to interferon alfa treatment in women vs men with chronic hepatitis C virus infection. Archives of Internal Medicine 158, 177–181.
CrossRef | CAS |

Iversen J, Wand H, Gonnermann A, Maher L (2010) Gender differences in hepatitis C antibody prevalence and risk behaviours among people who inject drugs in Australia 1998-2008. The International Journal on Drug Policy 21, 471–476.
CrossRef |

Kelly MP, Field D (1996) Medical sociology, chronic illness and the body. Sociology of Health & Illness 18, 241–257.
CrossRef |

Lenton E, Fraser S, Moore D, Treloar C (2011) Hepatitis C, love and intimacy: beyond the ‘anomalous body’. Drugs Education Prevention & Policy 18, 228–236.
CrossRef |

McNally S, Temple-Smith M, Pitts M (2004) Making decisions about hepatitis C treatment: report to the Australian Government. The Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society, La Trobe University, Melbourne.

Ministerial Advisory Committee on AIDS Sexual Health and Hepatitis Hepatitis C Sub-Committee (2006) ‘Hepatitis C virus projections working group: estimates and projections of the hepatitis C virus epidemic in Australia.’ (National Centre in HIV Epidemiology and Clinical Research, University of New South Wales: Sydney)

Muhr T, Friese S (2004) ‘User’s manual for ATLAS.ti 5.0.’ (Scientific Software Development: Berlin)

National Centre in HIV Epidemiology and Clinical Research (2010) HIV, viral hepatitis and sexually transmissible infections in Australia Annual Surveillance Report. The University of New South Wales, Sydney.

Pagliaro L, Peri V, Linea C, Camma C, Giunta M, Magrin S (1999) Natural history of chronic hepatitis C. Italian Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology 31, 28–44.
| CAS |

Popay J, Williams G, Thomas C, Gatrell A (1998) Theorising inequalities in health: the place of lay knowledge. Sociology of Health & Illness 20, 619–644.
CrossRef |

Rhodes T (2002) The ‘risk environment’: a framework for understanding and reducing drug-related harm. The International Journal on Drug Policy 13, 85–94.
CrossRef |

Royal Women’s Hospital (2001) ‘Antenatal screening for hepatitis C virus (HCV).’ Available at http://3centres.com.au/guidelines/antenatal-screening-for-hepatitis-c-virus-hcv/ [Verified 16 February 2012]

Saltonstall R (1993) Health bodies, social bodies: men’s and women’s concepts and practices of health in everyday life. Social Science & Medicine 36, 7–14.
CrossRef | CAS |

Sartori M, Andorno S, Rigamonti C, Grossini E, Nicosia G, Boldorini R (2000) Chronic hepatitis C is mild in menstruating women. Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology 15, 1411–1417.
CrossRef | CAS |

Temple-Smith M, Gifford S, Stoové M (2004) The lived experience of men and women with hepatits C: implications for support and health information. Australian Health Review 27, 46–56.
CrossRef |

Temple-Smith M, Stoové M, Smith A, O’Brien M, Mitchell D, Banwell C, Bammer G, Jolley D, Gifford S (2007) Gender differences in seeking care for hepatitis C: the Australian experience. Journal of Substance Use 12, 59–70.
CrossRef |

The Australian Injecting and Illicit Drug Users League (2004) The young women injecting drug users’ project final report. AIVL, Canberra.

Treloar C, Holt M (2008) Drug treatment clients’ readiness for hepatitis C treatment: implications for expanding treatment services in drug and alcohol settings. Australian Health Review 32, 570–576.
CrossRef |

Villa E, Karampatou A, Cammà C, Di Leo A, Luongo M, Ferrari A, Petta S, Losi L, Taliani G, Trande P, Lei B, Graziosi A, Bernabucci V, Critelli R, Pazienza P, Rendina M, Antonelli A, Francavilla A (2011) Early menopause is associated with lack of response to antiviral therapy in women with chronic hepatitis C. Gastroenterology 140, 818–829.e2.
CrossRef |

Viral Hepatitis Prevention Board (2002) ‘Public health challenges for controlling HCV infection WHO informal consultation with VHPB.’ (WHO: Geneva)

Williams SJ (2005) ‘Medicine and the body.’ (Sage Publications)

Yamakawa Y, Sata M, Suzuki H, Noguchi S, Tanikawa K (1996) Higher elimination rate of hepatitis C virus among women. Journal of Viral Hepatitis 3, 317–321.
CrossRef | CAS |

Subscriber Login

Legal & Privacy | Contact Us | Help


© CSIRO 1996-2014