Harm Reduction - HIV in Drug Users

Subject POPH90134 (2010)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2010.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2010:

November, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable


Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: A minimum of 24 contact hours, taught in block mode over 5 days.
Total Time Commitment: Students will be expected to undertake additional study (i.e. outside the stated contact hours) of at least two hours for each hour of contact in this subject.
Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements: None


Ms Andrea Fischer, Burnet Institute for Medical Research and Public Health


Academic Programs Office
Melbourne School of Population Health
Tel: +61 3 8344 9339
Fax: +61 3 8344 0824
Email: sph-gradinfo@unimelb.edu.au

Subject Overview:

The course will cover the following topics: overview of illicit drugs and their effects; approaches to illicit drug problems: supply, demand and harm reduction; harm reduction overview; needle and syringe programs; peer education; drug substitution therapy; outreach; advocacy for effective harm reduction; rapid assessment and response; an emphasis on Australia, Asian and developing country context. There will be site visits to demonstrate harm reduction in action.


On completion of this subject, students will be able to:

  • explain the interactions between illicit drug use and blood-borne viruses;
  • outline the epidemiology of HIV, hepatitis C and hepatitis B with particular reference to injecting drug use;
  • describe the major elements of harm reduction practice employed in Australia, in our region, and worldwide;
  • understand the social and policy contexts of harm reduction practice employed in Australia and Asia;
  • carry out a rapid situation assessment of drug use and HIV risk;
  • design a package of harm reduction measures tailored to a particular regional epidemic; and
  • critique the various responses to HIV and other BBVs among drug users concurrently in operation.

One short critique of current journal article to be submitted in a fortnight after last teaching day (15%), one 1-hour exam on last teaching day (20%), one 3,000-word essay (60%) individual and group participation (5%).

Prescribed Texts: A folder of readings will be available prior to the subject commencing.
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills: -
Links to further information: http://www.sph.unimelb.edu.au

This subject is a Group 1 elective in the Master of Public Health.


Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: International Health
Sexual Health

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