Burnet + HIV
HIV is a major focus at Burnet, with more than half our work addressing laboratory-based research into finding a cure for the disease while our public health programs are focused on education and prevention both in Australia and overseas.
Nearly 37 million people are living with HIV.
Sub-Saharan Africa is the most affected region with more than 25 million people affected, and accounts for over 65 percent of the global total of new HIV infections. Tragically, HIV claims the lives of 1.1 million people each year globally.
The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infects cells of the immune system, causing it to become weak and making it more susceptible to infections. HIV is generally spread through unprotected sexual intercourse or contaminated blood, but can also be spread from mother to child during pregnancy. There is no cure for HIV.
Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) is the most advanced stage of HIV infection. It can take 10-15 years for an HIV-infected person to develop AIDS but antiretroviral (ARV) drugs have made a huge difference in slowing or halting the progression to AIDS.
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates more than 36 million people are living with the virus, with 2.1 million new infections (of which 20 percent are of adolescent girls and young women aged 15-24) and 1.1 million people dying from AIDS-related illnesses each year. It is estimated that currently only 51 percent of people with HIV know their status. The WHO reports that In 2015, 17 million people living with HIV were receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART) globally, of which 10.3 million were in eastern and southern Africa.
**World AIDS Day - 1 December
World AIDS Day, held each year on 1 December, is an opportunity for people worldwide to show their support for people living with HIV and to commemorate those who have died.
- A novel biomarker for gut leakage as a diagnostic tool for HIV disease progression
Investigating a novel plasma biomarker's potential for identifying gut leakage.
- A novel gel for targeting vaginal inflammation to prevent HIV transmission
Developing an intravaginal gel delivering a vaginal microbiota metabolite.
- Access Point Of Care Initiative
Increasing access to life-saving treatments for infectious diseases through point-of-care tests.
- ACCESS: STI and BBV surveillance system
ACCESS is a surveillance system that collates important information on a range of STIs and BBVs.
- Antimicrobial and immune modulatory effects of vaginal microbiota metabolites
Determining the role of vaginal microbiota metabolites in activating HIV and other STIs.
- APPRISE - Centre for Research Excellence
The Australian Partnership for Preparedness Research on Infectious Diseases Emergencies (APPRISE).
- Broadly neutralising anti-HIV antibodies and Fc Receptor function
Defining the properties of anti-HIV antibodies for vaccine development and protection of pregnant women.
- co-EC Study: Eliminating hepatitis C/HIV coinfection
Eliminating hepatitis C transmission by enhancing care and treatment among HIV co-infected individuals.
- Community-Based Rapid HIV Testing Services
Evaluating a multi-site rapid HIV testing trial in South Australia and rural site in Bendigo, Victoria.
- CREIDU: Centre for Research Excellence into Injecting Drug Use
Improving the health of PWID through new research to inform public health policy and practice.
- DARE C: ATAHC II Substudy
DARE-C aims to evaluate therapy duration using triple therapy (PEG-IFN/RBV/TPV).
- Decision science using Optima
Research and applications across disease areas to improve allocative efficiency.
- Developing new HIV disease progression tests
This project will develop prognostic tools to identify HIV+ persons at risk of rapid disease progression.
- Development of a novel prophylactic vaccine candidate for HIV-1
A prophylactic vaccine represents the best strategy for blocking HIV-1 transmission.
- Development of hydrogel based intravaginal drug delivery device
Developing an intravaginal ring to deliver a microbiota metabolite.
- Getting to the heart of cardiovascular disease in HIV
Investigating the pathogenesis of cardiovascular disease in HIV infection and identifying clinically useful predictors and therapies.
- Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies
A collaborative research program aimed at providing life-saving health care for women and children in PNG.
- HIV Prevention Cohort
Online cohort study of gay men in Victoria monitoring community-level change.
- Impact of a vaginal microbiota metabolite on epithelium integrity and HIV susceptibility
Determining the role of a vaginal microbiota metabolite in enhancing the mucosal barrier to prevent HIV transmission.
- Inequalities in sexual and reproductive health in Asia and the Pacific
Despite progress to improve sexual and reproductive health in the region, significant inequalities in health outcomes and access to essential care remain.
- New drugs for HIV prevention: novel inhibitors against an essential HIV target
The research activity addresses the urgent need for new types of antiviral drugs for preventing HIV transmission.
- PATH Cohort Study
A cohort study of the trajectories of prisoners with a history of injecting drug use after release from prison.
- Predicting quality and potency of monoclonal and natural antibodies
Rapid, simple and scalable assays for predicting antibody potency.
- PrEPX: Rapid scale-up of HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP)
Burnet is playing a crucial role in monitoring the outcomes of the PrEPX trial in Victoria.
- PRONTO! Rapid HIV point-of-care testing in Victoria
The first rapid HIV test service in Victoria targeting gay men and men who have sex with men.
- Sex, Drugs, and Rock'n'Roll (Big Day Out Study)
A landmark study since 2005 of young people's risk behaviours including sex, drug use and alcohol.
- Sexual and reproductive health in Asia and the Pacific
A review of issues, policies and programmes.
- SHARP: Sexual Health And Risk Prevention Study
Assessing responses to HIV prevention measures among Australian MSM.
- SRHIP: Sexual & Reproductive Health Integration Project
SRHIP will expand coverage of STI, HIV, SRH within Catholic and Anglican PNG health services.
- SuperMIX: The Melbourne Injecting Drug User Cohort Study
A five-year study of the dynamics of cessation of injecting drug use and any subsequent relapse.
- Sustainability of HIV Services for Key Populations in Asia Program (SKPA)
The SKPA Global Fund HIV grant aims to promote sustainable services for key populations at scale to stop HIV transmissions and AIDS related deaths in PNG by 2030.
- TAIPAN: HIV cascade surveillance
Internationally novel project to create a linked surveillance system to monitor the HIV cascade for gay men
- Targeting HIV-infected macrophages to achieve an HIV cure
Optimising methods to target and kill HIV-infected macrophages using Natural Killer cells.
- Targeting novel sites on reverse transcriptase for HIV treatment and prevention
Discovering a new HIV drug class.
- The impact of viral infections on immune ageing.
Characterising the impact of chronic and acute viral infections on immune ageing, immune dysfunction, and development of age-related diseases.
- The International Collaboration on Hepatitis C Elimination in HIV Cohorts (InCHEHC)
Measuring progress and identifying challenges for meeting WHO targets for achieving HCV elimination in people living with HIV.
- The persistence of HIV in monocytes and macrophages
Investigating the size and characteristics of the HIV reservoir in monocytes and macrophages that persists despite anti-HIV therapy.
- The role of monocytes in the development of cardiovascular disease
Examining how monocytes drive the thickening of the artery wall.
- Health needs of deported U.S. military veterans in Tijuana, Mexico
Study using qualitative methods to examine their health status and health needs.
- 2011 Vanuatu Integrated Bio-Behavioural Survey and population size estimation
A study to estimate the number of men who have sex with men and prevalence of STIs in Port Vila.
- A study to improve the health and rights of Myanmar men who have sex with men
This research evaluated the effectiveness of ‘Link Up’ services, in men who have sex with men.
- Accelerating ART initiation among Infants (AAMI Study)
This project will trial the POC VISITECT® CD4 test and POC LYNX HIV p24 early infant diagnostic test.
- Access to affordable and accurate HIV-1 VL testing
Laboratory evaluation of a novel filter paper-based method of plasma separation for viral load testing.
- Access to CD4 (VISITECT® CD4) testing among HIV-infected women in Kenya
An accessible CD4 (VISITECT® CD4) test for HIV-infected pregnant and postpartum women in Kenya.
- Addressing the healthcare needs of people ageing with HIV in Victoria
Identifying requirements and gaps in Victoria and influence policy for government.
- Altered States: An evaluation of VAC drug and alcohol services
An evaluation of drug and alcohol services at the Victorian AIDS Council targeting GLBTI individuals.
- Call Centre Impact Assessment for Marie Stopes International
Development of a framework and testing at call centres in Mexico City.
- China-Australia Health and HIV/AIDS Facility (2007-2012)
A partnership between the governments of Australia and the People’s Republic of China.
- Communicable disease screening and prevalence among migrants
A study to improve communicable disease health outcomes among migrants entering Australia.
- COUNT: Community-based undiagnosed infection and HIV testing study
Identifying undiagnosed HIV infection among Australian gay men while delivering HIV testing.
- e-TEST: Enhancing STI/HIV testing in high-risk gay men
eTEST is an intervention and surveillance system that aims to increase STI/HIV testing.
- Enhancing education to reduce harms associated with drug use in Yangon, Myanmar
This project is supporting harm reduction and health care for people who inject drugs and who use drugs.
- Evaluation of a condom distribution trial in Victorian prisons
The evaluation of a pilot program introducing condoms and dental dams into Victorian Prisons.
- Evaluation of the Joint Initiative for Maternal Newborn and Child Health in Myanmar
Burnet led the evaluation of this United Nations program for maternal newborn and child health.
- FaceSpace: Using social networking to promote safer sex to higher risk groups
This project aims to use social networking to deliver health messages to higher risk groups.
- Feasibility of antiretroviral treatment monitoring in the era of decentralised HIV care
A review to assess antiretroviral treatment monitoring in settings of decentralised HIV care.
- Friendly HIV services for young key populations in Bandung, Indonesia
A pilot project to increase testing and decrease new HIV infections in Bandung.
- Harm reduction among People who Inject Drugs in Myanmar
Aims to prevent the transmission of HIV among young people, students, migrant and transport workers.
- HIV Cooperation Program for Indonesia (HCPI)
Government collaboration to improve health outcomes for marginalised populations with HIV infection.
- HIV Prevention Initiatives Evaluation
An initiative to reduce HIV/STI risk behaviours as well as increasing health seeking behaviours among homosexually active gay men.
- HIV reverse transcriptase structure function and role in HIV replication
To study the role of reverse transcriptase dimerization in HIV replication.
- HIV services for young key populations in the Philippines
The Philippines is considering changing laws that require adolescents to seek parental consent for HIV testing. This project will explore options and contribute to better understanding of how new laws might result in improved practices.
- HIV testing among young men who have sex with men in Myanmar
Examining factors associated with HIV testing uptake among young men who have sex with men in Myanmar.
- HIV-associated neuropathy (HIV-SN): epidemiology and genetics
HIV-associated neuropathy (HIV-SN) is a very common cause of pain in the lower limbs for people with HIV. Understanding which patients are at risk will assist preventing and treating this disabling condition.
- HIV/AIDS Passive Surveillance
Carries out surveillance for HIV and AIDS in Victoria.
- MicroCube Technology Vaccine Platform – collaboration with Monash University
Burnet and Monash University are examining how the protein crystals excreted by insects after a virus could help create new vaccines to protect people against diseases like HIV.
- Opportunities to improve the health of behaviourally bisexual men in Vientiane, Laos
Men with bisexual behaviour in Laos engage in high-risk behaviours with low access to sexual health care.
- Performance of a low-cost, rapid point-of-care CD4 test in resource-constrained settings
This simple test could help prevent delayed initiation of antiretroviral interventions.
- Physical activity and HIV
Non-drug treatments may have important health benefits for people living with chronic illnesses. This project aims to understand the role of physical activity for improving health for those with HIV.
- Plasma separator device for HIV viral load testing
Aimed at improving access to HIV viral load assays in resource-limited settings.
- Reducing Community Vulnerability to HIV/AIDS (RCVHA), 2004-2010
- Resources for improving national responses to HIV and STIs
These resources aim to build country leadership of more effective responses to the HIV and STI epidemics.
- Risk assessment of drug users in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
This consultancy accessed the results of a rapid assessment and response of people who use drugs in Tanzania.
- Scaling Up of Most at Risk Populations Component II (SUM II)
Over five years, this project aims to improve the performance of Indonesian civil society organisations (CSOs) in servicing those in the population that are most at risk of HIV and AIDS
- Socioeconomic impact of HIV at household level in Myanmar
This study sought to gain a deeper understanding of the socioeconomic impact of HIV in Myanmar by looking at individual and community groups.
- Strengthening Sexual and Reproductive Health Capacity in Bali
This project is aimed at building capacity around Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) and strengthening links between SRH and HIV prevention care and support
- Suck it And See....
A study to define the rates of HIV amongst gay men in Victoria and to better understand the spread of HIV.
- The Victorian Primary Care Network for Sentinel Surveillance on BBVs and STIs
The surveillance involves collection and linking of testing, demographic, and risk behaviour information.
- Transmitted and acquired drug resistant HIV strains in Victoria, Australia
Documenting mutations associated with drug resistance acquired by patients diagnosed with HIV.
- USAID’s AKSI Stop AIDS Project
Implemented by Family Health International, Burnet was contracted to support activities in a number of harm reduction areas including situational assessment, training, program design and implementation and advocacy
- Victorian Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) Demonstrations
This prevention strategy involves people who are HIV-negative taking HIV treatment medications to reduce their risk of acquiring HIV.
- VISITECT® CD4 point-of-care test
An affordable HIV point-of-care test developed by Burnet but licensed to Omega Diagnostics.
- Working with men to address HIV in Myanmar
Reducing HIV-related risk, vulnerability and impact among men who have sex with men in Myanmar.