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Sexual + Reproductive Health

Sexual and reproductive health and rights cover puberty, sexuality, relationships, sexual health, fertility, contraception and birth. Everyone has the right to decide if, when and with whom to have sex, and if and when to have children - free from discrimination, coercion and violence. Burnet has a strong track record of using evidence-based approaches to improve access to sexual and reproductive health information and services.

Our main objective is to improve the coverage and quality of sexual and reproductive healthcare, with an emphasis on timely, respectful, person-centred care.

Our research focuses on:

  • improving access to sexual and reproductive health information and services
  • helping to prevent the transmission of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV
  • young people’s sexual and reproductive health in Asia, the Pacific and Australia
  • menstrual hygiene management
  • clarifying the role of the vaginal microbiota and their metabolites in adverse sexual (i.e. HIV) and reproductive health outcomes
  • the development of a topical microbicide gel for female-initiated HIV and STI prevention
  • developing a number of novel technologies, including an intravaginal ring loaded with active pharmaceutical ingredients designed to address bacterial vaginosis.

We have a strong track record of using evidence-based approaches to improve access to sexual and reproductive health information and services.


Is the number of novel products being fast-tracked by Enhancing the Vaginal Environment and Microbiome (EVE-M) initiative led by Burnet’s Professor Gilda Tachedjian. The products include an intravaginal ring to treat and prevent bacterial vaginosis (BV), an intravaginal ring to reduce the risk of spontaneous preterm birth, and a multipurpose prevention technology (MPT) intravaginal ring designed to target BV and prevent STIs and unplanned pregnancies.


The first Australian and Pacific Genital (APG) Biobank within Biobanking Victoria will be established as part of the EVE-M research program, led by Burnet’s Professor Gilda Tachedjian.


adolescents in Myanmar received improved access to respectful and non-judgemental sexual and reproductive healthcare as part of Burnet’s adolescent health research project, IMSA – Integrated Multi-Sectoral Approach to improve adolescent sexual and reproductive health.


is the total number of women and adolescent girls participating in a longitudinal cohort study conducted by Burnet researchers in South Africa. The study aims to identify the socio-behavioural and biological causes of genital tract inflammation in these young women. Our researchers have previously shown that genital tract inflammation is a key risk factor for HIV acquisition and that young South African women have higher levels of inflammation than older women. 

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.