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Harm reduction should address the specific needs of couples who inject drugs
Roger Pebody, 2017-03-21 09:40:00

The sharing of drug injecting equipment most often occurs between sexual partners, but the ways in which couples manage risks and care for each other have been largely ignored by harm reduction services, say Australian researchers.

In-depth interviews showed that drug users’ relationships were based on mutual trust, honesty and care. Couples tried to avoid sharing their equipment but when they did, they took into account what they knew about each other’s hepatitis C status and genotype to minimise risks. This could be described as a form of ‘negotiated safety’, say the researchers.

Jake Rance, Tim Rhodes, Carla Treloar and colleagues have published the findings in articles published online ahead of print in Health and Social Science & Medicine. The programmatic implications are summarised in a document from the University of New South Wales.