PhD Student in Sociology, Paris-Sud University
Doctoral School of Public Health
Dissertation title: "Social supports and networks linked to HCV and HIV exposure among ipeople who inject drugs"
The main objective of the thesis is to analyze how forms of sociability and social support impact the transmission of hepatitis C and HIV in the injecting drug user population. The secondary objectives of the thesis are to:
- Obtain original data on exposure to risk of transmission of hepatitis C and HIV among injecting drug users corresponding to “hidden populations” i.e. users not attending the risk reduction programs.
- Develop knowledge on the social environment of risk of injecting drug users.
- Describe the modes of sociability and social support of injecting drug users.
- Develop innovative sampling methodologies through adaptations to the Respondent-Driven Sampling methodology.
- Modelize the transmission of hepatitis C and HIV among a population of drug users using dynamic models that take into account the structure of the social network.
To achieve these objectives, the thesis will be based on a mixed methodology including a quantitative survey, the RESEAU survey which used a Respondent-Driven Sampling methodology (purposive sampling by the respondents), as well as qualitative interviews such as life stories with injecting drug users who participated in the RESEAU survey, and ethnographic observations. During the first year of the thesis program, the study will focus on the first axis: the analysis of data from the RESEAU survey and the completion of approximately forty qualitative interviews. The second year of the program will focus on the analysis of qualitative data, the assessment of the influence of social support on risky practices and the writing of three scientific articles. Finally, the last year will be devoted to the writing of the thesis.
The expected results consist in a better understanding of the risk environment and the influence of social networks and social support modalities with regards to the exposure of injecting drug users to infectious risks, as well as methodological recommendations regarding sampling techniques for hard-to-reach populations.
This thesis will be conducted under the direction of Marie Jauffret-Roustide and will rely on a mixed methodology combining quantitative and qualitative approaches for a better understanding of the risks associated to experiences of injection equipment sharing and their social environment.