Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)

In Australia, HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) notifications have been on the rise for the past decade. HIV and sexual and reproductive health is also a growing concern across the Asia and Pacific region.

Around 22 percent of neonatal deaths in Papua New Guinea are due to congenital syphilis and an estimated 500,000 neonatal deaths per year in Sub-Saharan Africa. Many more babies are left with severe birth defects.

There was 80,800 new notifications of chlamydia in Australia in 2011, a seven percent increase from 2010. Untreated, chlamydia infection can cause pelvic inflammatory disease and tubal infertility in women.

Research and Public Health Focus

  • Developed a point-of-care test for syphilis which can distinguish between active syphilis and past infections. This test is now being evaluated in Australia and Papua New Guinea

  • We conduct innovative research aimed at understanding the transmission and prevention of HIV and other STIs with a particular focus on those populations most at-risk, such as young people and men who have sex with men

  • Lead the HIV and STI laboratory at the Papua New Guinea Institute of Medical Research
  • Through partnerships with regional agencies, we review and develop national strategies to respond to HIV and STIs in Pacific countries
  • Engage with a number of Pacific countries through operational research and capacity building through the Pacific Drug and Alcohol Research Network.
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Current Projects

  • A GIFT (Genital Inflammation Test) for HIV Prevention

  • A novel gel for targeting vaginal inflammation to prevent HIV transmission

  • ACCESS: The Australian Collaboration for Coordinated Enhanced Sentinel Surveillance of Blood Borne Viruses and Sexually Transmitted Infections

  • Antimicrobial and immune modulatory effects of vaginal microbiota metabolites

  • Blood-borne virus and STI self-testing❗Student Projects Available

  • Burnet Microbiome Initiative

  • Depo Provera and Beyond

  • Development of hydrogel based intravaginal drug delivery device

  • Engaging men to improve family health and prevent gender-based violence

  • EVE-M

  • Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies

  • HMHB - Health Services for Postnatal and Infancy Care

  • HMHB: The impact of nutrition, malaria and STIs on pregnant women and infants

  • Impact of a vaginal microbiota metabolite on epithelium integrity and HIV susceptibility

  • Improved point-of-care test to eliminate congenital syphilis

  • Inequalities in sexual and reproductive health in Asia and the Pacific

  • Mucosal injury from sexual contact (MISC)

  • Needle and Syringe Program (NSP) Snapshot Study

  • Novel PoC Testing for Diagnosis of Active Syphilis in Pregnant Women and Infants in Fiji

  • Optima HIV Modelling

  • Predicting quality and potency of monoclonal and natural antibodies

  • Project Geldom

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

  • Sex, Drugs, and Rock'n'Roll (Big Day Out Study)

  • Sexual and reproductive health in Asia and the Pacific

  • Sexual health and STIs among people who use drugs❗Student Projects Available

  • SHARP: Sexual Health And Risk Prevention Study

  • SRH survey of Chinese-speaking international students

  • The International Collaboration on Hepatitis C Elimination in HIV Cohorts (InCHEHC)

  • The role of female genital tract microbial function in inflammation and HIV infection risk.

  • Transformative Agenda for Women, Adolescents and Youth in the Pacific: Family Life Education