Emily Lenton is a Research and Project Officer at the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society, La Trobe University, working on the design and implementation of qualitative projects that seek to improve the lives of people affected by hepatitis C.
Her work contributes to projects in both the Gender, Law and Drugs (GLaD) and Drugs, Gender and Sexuality (DruGS) research programs. Emily has worked extensively in research, workforce development and health promotion relating to blood-borne viruses. She is deeply committed to the principles of harm reduction, and to working collaboratively and in partnership with peer, government and non-government stakeholders, and people with lived experience. She is the Vice President of Harm Reduction Victoria.
Emily completed a Master of Arts (research) at Monash University that examined the links that people living with hepatitis C draw between hepatitis C and sexuality. Her thesis examined discourses around sex, intimacy and relationality in hepatitis C–related advice, the impact of HIV/AIDS discourses on assumptions about hepatitis C transmission, and the effects of living with hepatitis C for relationships. Since then, she has published widely on hepatitis C prevention, testing, service provision and health promotion, with an enduring interest in the complex nexus between hepatitis C (and other blood-borne viruses) and relationships, sexuality, identity and stigma.
In the GLaD program, Emily is currently working on an ARC-funded project addressing hepatitis C-related legal, policy and practice discrimination in a ‘post-cure’ world, an interdisciplinary project seeking to better understand hepatitis C–related stigma and discrimination in the context of new treatments and to identify opportunities for reform. With colleagues in the DruGS program, she is contributing to the development of new, best-practice guidelines for Victorian hepatitis C services that strengthen the sector response and increase statewide access to community-based testing, treatment and care.
Critical public health; gender and the body; blood-borne viruses; hepatitis C and health promotion; injecting drug use and human rights; lived experiences of disease and its relationship with sexuality and intimacy