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We are actively working with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer, asexual and other sexually or gender diverse (LGBTQIA+) communities, both in Australia and abroad. Our work is dedicated to improving the health and lives of people living with HIV.

Our vision is to facilitate reductions in new HIV infections and improve the lives of people living with HIV in Australia and internationally through discovery and translational research that targets HIV prevention, diagnosis and treatment.

To help achieve this vision, our main research objectives are to:

  • maintain and build upon Burnet’s collaborations with key populations and people living with HIV in Australia and in resource-constrained settings that help guide our work
  • develop, implement and expand innovative bio-behavioural surveillance systems and research projects that enhance our understanding of HIV risk and protective behaviours among vulnerable populations
  • work with government and civil society to help strengthen health systems and reduce social and legislative marginalisation of HIV-risk populations
  • undertake implementation and demonstration projects that support the most effective ways to expand HIV testing, treatment and primary prevention.

To help achieve our vision, our researchers collaborate across our organisation as well as with other key academic partners, such as:

  • The Australian Research Centre for Sex, Health and Society at LaTrobe University
  • The Centre for Social Research in Health at the University of New South Wales
  • The Kirby Institute at the University of New South Wales.

We also work closely with the Victorian Department of Health and community organisations like the Victorian AIDS Council and Living Positive Victoria to ensure community-based responses are evidence-based and are responding to emerging health needs.

Since the early days of the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s, Burnet has been at the forefront of addressing some of the challenges of HIV. We remain the key research and implementation partner in Australia’s HIV response.


Australia’s first shop-front, community-based and peer-led HIV testing service for gay men was established by Burnet in collaboration with the Victorian AIDS Council and the Victorian Government. 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. 


men aged between 18–75 years who participated in Burnet’s, Suck it and See study. In an Australian-first, this 2008 study estimated HIV prevalence among gay and other same-sex attracted men. It also explored the reasons that some people have HIV and some people have HIV but do not realise they are infected.


men who participated in Burnet’s COUNT study in 2014 helped provide a national estimate of undiagnosed HIV among gay and other same-sex attracted men.


locations across Myanmar where Burnet is working with local implementation partners to deliver community-based and peer-involved HIV prevention projects focused on peer education/ outreach, confidential HIV counselling, and testing and STI services.

Working Groups

Burnet is an Australian-based medical research and public health institute and international non-government organisation that is working towards a more equitable world through better health.