Viral Hepatitis Epidemiology and Prevention Program
About the program
The Viral Hepatitis Epidemiology and Prevention Program (VHEPP) brings together people and projects to prevent key infections, including viral hepatitis and HIV, in vulnerable populations including people who use/inject drugs, sex workers and men who have sex with men. Our research focusses on examining risk behaviour and transmission; identifying trends in incidence and prevalence; understanding structural, cultural and environmental drivers; and developing effective prevention strategies.
Key aims are to:
Develop and support surveillance mechanisms with the capacity to identify new populations, monitor trends, evaluate the impact of interventions, and inform timely public health responses
Improve epidemiological understandings of the causal pathways and risk factors for blood-borne viral infections
Identify effective interventions to reduce risk behaviour and prevent incident infections and increase uptake of testing and treatment by vulnerable populations
Inform the ethical engagement of vulnerable populations in clinical trials and new prevention strategies
Improve health outcomes for vulnerable populations in Australia and the Asia-Pacific Region.
Build capacity for research, surveillance and harm reduction within Australia and the region through the provision of training and technical assistance.
VHEPP’s research is ethical, innovative and makes a difference. We are proud of, and committed to, working in partnership with affected communities in Australia and internationally to achieve our goals. Our research is also highly innovative, involving new concepts, methods and approaches. Recent examples include the integration of social science methods and approaches into clinical trials and work with colleagues from the British Columbia Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS in developing ethno-epidemiological approaches to critically evaluate public health policies and programs. VHEPP also provides input into complex trials which require strong partnerships, extensive community engagement and consultation, and culturally sensitive methods and approaches.