HIV Prevention Group

Head: Professor Mark Stoové

Overview

Image: HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP)

In Australia, HIV notifications increased substantially in the early 2000s and have remained intractably high since. While recent scale-up of biomedical HIV prevention strategies have the potential to impact the HIV epidemic in Australia, challenges remain for ensuring their equitable deployment and optimal strategic investment. HIV is also a major public health issue across Southeast Asia where approximately 10 per cent of the world’s 37 million adults and children living with HIV reside.

The HIV Prevention group conducts innovative epidemiological and implementation research aimed at understanding the transmission and prevention of HIV, with a particular focus on those populations most at risk, such as men who have sex with men, and people who inject drugs.

Objectives

  • Undertaking research involving the groups most at risk and vulnerable to HIV, including men who have sex with men, people who inject drugs, young people and people from culturally and linguistically diverse communities
  • Integrating findings from our surveillance, epidemiology and research work to inform policy and practice to prevent HIV transmission.

Highlights

  • Suck It and See and COUNT

Suck it and See was Australia’s first HIV community bio-prevalence that aimed to measure and better understand undiagnosed HIV among gay men in Melbourne. The importance of undiagnosed HIV in driving the epidemic has become increasingly recognised, and the HIV Prevention group later collaborated with the University of NSW to undertake Australia’s first national study of undiagnosed HIV – COUNT.

In collaboration with the Victorian AIDS Council and the Victorian Government, the HIV Prevention group led the establishment of Australia’s first shop-front, community-based and peer-led, HIV testing service for gay men as part of a two-year trial. The Victorian AIDS Council has since established the PRONTO! service as an integral part of Victoria’s community and clinical HIV prevention and care landscape. Burnet Institute continues to monitor testing at PRONTO! and evaluate service outcomes.

Projects

  • ACCESS: STI and BBV surveillance system

  • co-EC Study: Eliminating hepatitis C/HIV coinfection

  • Community-Based Rapid HIV Testing Services

  • CREIDU: Centre for Research Excellence into Injecting Drug Use

  • HIV Prevention Cohort

  • PrEPX: Rapid scale-up of HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP)

  • Project Geldom

  • PRONTO! Rapid HIV point-of-care testing in Victoria

  • SHARP: Sexual Health And Risk Prevention Study

  • TAIPAN: HIV cascade surveillance

Staff Members

  • Doctor Alisa Pedrana

    Doctor Alisa Pedrana
    EC Partnership Coordinator, NHMRC Postdoctoral Research Fellow

  • Brendan  Harney

    Brendan Harney
    Research Assistant

  • Bridget Draper

    Bridget Draper
    Research Assistant

  • Carol El-Hayek

    Carol El-Hayek
    Head of Surveillance and Evaluation

  • Caroline Taunton

    Caroline Taunton
    Surveillance Officer | Master of Philosophy (Applied Epidemiology) Candidate

  • Doctor Daniela van Santen

    Doctor Daniela van Santen
    Postdoctoral fellow

  • David  Leitinger

    David Leitinger

  • Jason Asselin

    Jason Asselin
    Senior Research Officer

  • Professor Margaret Hellard AM

    Professor Margaret Hellard AM
    Deputy Director (Programs); Adjunct Professor, Monash University, DEPM.

  • Professor Mark A Stoové

    Professor Mark A Stoové
    Head of Public Health Discipline

  • Michael Traeger

    Michael Traeger
    Research Assistant and PhD Student

  • Doctor Mulu Woldegiorgis

    Doctor Mulu Woldegiorgis
    Research Officer

  • Shaun Coutts

    Shaun Coutts
    Surveillance Officer / Applied Epidemiology Scholar

  • Sophia Schröder

    Sophia Schröder
    Research Assistant

  • Doctor Tafireyi Marukutira

    Doctor Tafireyi Marukutira
    PhD Student & Research Assistant