“It’s really refreshing to be involved in something where our perspective and opinion was respected and taken seriously” – Co-designing It’s Your Right, a peer-led hepatitis C health promotion campaign for people who inject drugs

Author: Louisa Walsh, Esha Leyden, Emily Adamson, Troy Combo, Shannon Christensen, Jane Dicka, Margaret Hellard, Emily Adamson, Alisa Pedrana

Theme: Models of Care Year: 2023


It’s Your Right was the first Australia-wide hepatitis C health promotion campaign to be co-designed with peer workers with living and lived experience of injecting drug use. It’s Your Right aimed to increase hepatitis C testing and treatment uptake in people who inject drugs. Between July 2019 – December 2021 the co-design group developed the positive, vibrant, rights-based campaign, which was implemented nationally in 2022. This presentation will share the benefits and challenges of the co-design process, and recommendations for future co-design activities.
Methods: 18 people (10 peer workers, 8 non-peer group members) involved in the co-design of It’s Your Right were interviewed about their experiences of being involved. Transcripts were analysed using deductive thematic analysis.


Participants reported that centering the experiences of people who inject drugs through peer workers being partners in co-design, and by testing designs and messages with intended audiences during the co-design process, led to the campaign being more appropriate for people who inject drugs. Openness, honesty, trust and respect within the co-design group allowed for “frank and fearless” discussions, sharing of expertise and knowledge, and increased links between participating organisations. Peer involvement in the co-design also led to feelings of ownership over the campaign by partner organisations, which increased excitement and motivation around implementation. COVID-19 was a challenge, lengthening the co-design process, and forcing a shift to co-designing online. Online co-design allowed for greater, and more regular, participation from across Australia, however some participants found online activities challenging due to difficulties building rapport, competing work priorities, and “Zoom fatigue”.


Co-designing It’s Your Right with peer workers resulted in a nuanced campaign messaging and design which resonated with people who inject drugs. Recommendations for future co-design activities include shortening the timeline for design, and adopting a hybrid co-design model combining online and face-to-face activities.

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