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Becoming posthuman: hepatitis C, the race to elimination and the politics of remaking the subject

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journal contribution
posted on 2021-11-10, 03:03 authored by Kate SeearKate Seear, Emily LentonEmily Lenton
Hepatitis C has long been a public health problem in Australia. ‘Revolutionary’ new drugs with the potential to cure hepatitis C have now emerged. The Australian government has invested heavily in them, and has an ambitious goal to eliminate hepatitis C by 2030. Numerous shifts in policy and practice are required if the elimination agenda is to be realised. This paper explores the significance of these shifts. We ask: what is the race to elimination doing with the subject? We argue that the race to elimination can be understood, simultaneously, as a product of posthuman forces, capable of being analysed using the theoretical tools made available via the posthuman turn; producing an intervention in what it means to be human; and generating a dilemma for people who use (or used) drugs, people with hepatitis C, and posthuman scholarship. In drawing out these issues, we aim to: trace the significant developments underway in hepatitis C medicine and raise awareness of them; encourage reflection on the consequences of these developments; and invite reflections on what might be lost when the human is remade by hepatitis C medicine.


The research reported in this paper is funded by the Australian Research Council (DP200100941).


Publication Date



Health Sociology Review






15p. (p. 229-243)


Taylor & Francis



Rights Statement

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in the Health Sociology Review on 27 Aug 2021, available online: The Author reserves all moral rights over the deposited text and must be credited if any re-use occurs. Documents deposited in OPAL are the Open Access versions of outputs published elsewhere. Changes resulting from the publishing process may therefore not be reflected in this document. The final published version may be obtained via the publisher’s DOI. Please note that additional copyright and access restrictions may apply to the published version.