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NCHSR Newsletter

Issue 1, July - September 2011

National Centre in HIV Social Research  


Welcome to the new quarterly NCHSR newsletter, which brings you the latest information about our current research projects, reports and events. In addition to disseminating study results, we hope that the newsletter will stimulate discussion about ways the sector can translate social science research into policy and practice.

You are cordially invited to subscribe to this newsletter and occasional e-alerts which will announce new NCHSR publications and upcoming seminars. - Prof John de Wit

In this Newsletter

  • Social science will remain critical to HIV prevention
  • Barriers to STI Testing Among Young People
  • Engaging with HIV as a professional interest
  • 2010 NCHSR Annual Report launched
  • NCHSR 2012 Conference
  • NCHSR at the 2011 Australasian HIV/AIDS Conferencee


Social science will remain critical to HIV prevention

While many experts have high expectations of biomedical answers to the HIV epidemic, social science contributions will remain critical to re-invigorating HIV prevention.
In his recent 'So, what?' lecture at UNSW, Prof John de Wit offered novel directions for understanding the complexity of sexual risk taking. While most gay men generally intend to use condoms, sex and risk happen in the heat of the moment and in those situations factors other than motivation or skills play a role. According to Prof de Wit, a key challenge for HIV prevention is to help people better self-regulate their behaviour in the situations in which sex actually occurs and in a context in which the meaning of HIV has vastly changed.

Barriers to STI testing among young people

Sexually active young people in Australia are at higher risk of contracting sexually transmissible infections (STIs) but testing still remains low in this population.
Findings from an online study among 1,100 young people, conducted by Dr Philippe Adam and colleagues from NCHSR and the NSW STI Programs Unit, reveal important new insights into why some young people do not test for STIs.
The findings show that testing for STIs is not simply a question of information and awareness. Complex psychological and social barriers also operate at individual and group levels and these can be addressed by innovative interventions.

Engaging with HIV as a professional interest

Health workforce shortages are often described as an increasing problem for many ‘advanced liberal’ nations.
The Paul Bourke Lecture, presented by Dr Christy Newman from NCHSR at The University of New South Wales in August, considered the growing relevance of research on workforce shortages to the Australian HIV sector.

Looking at her own experience as a qualitative social researcher and at the experience of general practitioners (GPs) who pursue HIV medicine in Australia, Dr Newman explored different ways of thinking about how an individual becomes engaged in HIV as an area of professional interest. Finally, she considered some more global examples of how ‘doctor shortages’ are represented in popular and policy discourse.


NCHSR newsletters and e-alerts will give you the latest information about our research projects, reports and events. Subscribe now...


NCHSR research portal

This newsletter is being launched alongside a new research portal which showcases online research projects conducted in collaboration with sector partners. The research portal also act as a gateway to participation in online surveys.
Go to the research portal...


NCHSR website

The NCHSR website is the home of information about our mission, values, staff, students and extensive range of social and behavioural research work. Here you will find downloadable copies of our research reports, including the Annual Report of Trends in Behaviour. Go to the NCHSR website...


NCHSR Conference 2012

Join us for the 12th Social Research Conference on HIV, hepatitis C and related diseases: "silence&articulation", to be held on 12-13 April 2012. Register now...


Contact us

If you have any queries about this newsletter, NCHSR or our work, please contact Ann Whitlaw by telephoning
+61 2 9385 6776 or by email to


Dr Philippe Adam
Mr Terry Fairclough
Ms Judi Rainbow


Latest News


NCHSR Annual Report 2010

The NCHSR Annual Report 2010 is now available. Our report outlines the principle themes of our research in 2010 and details the reports, articles, books and refereed conference proceedings that were the result. Download the report...

12th Social Research Conference on HIV, hepatitis C and related diseases, 12-13 April 2012

NCHSR invites you to the 12th Social Research Conference on HIV, hepatitis C and related diseases to be held on 12-13 April 2012 at the University of New South Wales, Sydney. The theme of the Conference is "silence & articulation". Read more...

Annual Report of Trends in Behaviour 2010

The Annual Report of Trends in Behaviour is nearing completion and will be launched, along with other national surveillance reports, on Tuesday 27 September at 10:00am in the Fitzroy and Derwent Rooms at the Canberra Convention and Exhibition Centre during the Australasian HIV/AIDS Conference. It will be available to download from the NCHSR website. Go to the NCHSR publications webpage...

NCHSR at the Australasian HIV/AIDS Conference, Canberra 26-28 September, 2011

Visit the NCHSR booth in the exhibition hall at the Australasian HIV/AIDS Conference and meet some of our senior researchers and pick up copies of our latest reports. You are also invited to participate in the Priorities in Prevention (PiP) questionnaire on our survey kiosk at the booth.
Go to the Australasian HIV/AIDS Conference website...


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