HIV and AIDS

Burnet + HIV

HIV is a major focus at Burnet, with work focussed on laboratory-based research into a cure, and on public health programs focussed on education and prevention in Australia and abroad.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 37.9 people were living with HIV at the end of 2018.

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 a HIV-infected person to develop AIDS but antiretroviral (ARV) drugs have made a huge difference in slowing or halting the progression to AIDS.

770 000 people died from HIV-related causes in 2018, and there were 1.7 million new infections.

Service coverage is gradually increasing. In 2018, 62 per cent of adults and 54 per cent of children living with HIV in low and middle income countries were receiving lifelong antiretroviral therapy (ART).

World AIDS Day - 1 December

World AIDS Day, held annually on 1 December, is an opportunity for people worldwide to support people living with HIV, and to commemorate those who have died.

Donate today!

Support out groundbreaking HIV research

Current Projects

  • A novel biomarker for gut leakage as a diagnostic tool for HIV disease progression

  • A GIFT (Genital Inflammation Test) for HIV Prevention

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

  • Access Point Of Care Initiative

  • 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

  • APPRISE - Centre for Research Excellence

  • Assessing the feasibility of an integrated HIV cascade of care surveillance system in Myanmar (ACCESS Myanmar)

  • Broadly neutralising anti-HIV antibodies and Fc Receptor function

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

  • Community-Based Rapid HIV Testing Services

  • CREIDU: Centre for Research Excellence into Injecting Drug Use

  • DARE C: ATAHC II Substudy

  • Decision science using Optima

  • Depo Provera and Beyond

  • Development of a novel prophylactic vaccine candidate for HIV-1

  • Development of hydrogel based intravaginal drug delivery device

  • Getting to the heart of cardiovascular disease in HIV

  • Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies

  • HIV Prevention Cohort

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

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

  • Mucosal injury from sexual contact (MISC)

  • Needle and Syringe Program (NSP) Snapshot Study

  • Predicting quality and potency of monoclonal and natural antibodies

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

  • 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

  • SHARP: Sexual Health And Risk Prevention Study

  • SRHIP: Sexual & Reproductive Health Integration Project

  • SuperMIX: The Melbourne Injecting Drug User Cohort Study

  • Sustainability of HIV Services for Key Populations in Asia Program (SKPA)

  • TAIPAN: HIV cascade surveillance

  • Targeting HIV-infected macrophages to achieve an HIV cure

  • Targeting novel sites on reverse transcriptase for HIV treatment and prevention

  • The impact of viral infections on immune ageing

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

  • The persistence of HIV in monocytes and macrophages

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

  • The role of monocytes in the development of cardiovascular disease

Past Projects

  • PATH Cohort Study