CSRH Newsletter

Issue 10, April–June 2014

Centre for Social Research in Health  


In this newsletter we showcase the Priorities in Prevention study, an important survey that uniquely assesses the views of professionals in the HIV response on an expanding range of HIV prevention options. We also draw your attention to the highly successful practice-research partnership between the NSW STI Programs Unit and CSRH that delivers award-winning new sexual health promotion resources for young people. And we proudly note a recent documentary examining stigma and discrimination of people who inject drugs featuring CSRH’s Dr Max Hopwood.

If you’re heading to Melbourne for AIDS 2014, we suggest registering for our pre-conference symposium which will bring together high-profile local and international social scientists to explore the critical contributions of social science research to the HIV response. Coinciding with AIDS 2014, AIDS Education and Prevention will publish a special issue co-edited by Peter Aggleton and Susan Kippax.

I hope you enjoy reading our brief update.

In this Newsletter

  • Priorities in HIV prevention
  • Play Safe: collaboration between research and health promotion practice
  • Stigmatisation of people who inject illicit drugs
  • AIDS 2014 affiliated independent event
  • Postgraduate research at CSRH



Also Online


Priorities in HIV prevention

by Dean Murphy

There has been a great deal of research on the attitudes of people in affected communities to new HIV prevention strategies. However, until recently little attention has been paid to the views of people who are involved in the design and implementation of HIV prevention work.

A recent study set out to address this gap by surveying the opinions of the HIV workforce to different prevention approaches.

Play Safe: an outstanding example of collaboration between research and health promotion practice

by Brooke Shepherd, Philippe Adam, Carolyn Murray, John de Wit, Nurse Nettie, and Chris Bourne

Play Safe wins Best in Class award for Education, 2014 Interactive Media Awards. Developed by NSW STIPU for the NSW Ministry of Health, Play Safe is a mass online intervention to promote condom use and testing for STIs among adolescents and young adults in NSW. Building on the experience gained in previous sexual health promotion initiatives and developed in collaboration with those who will be using it, the website aims to comprehensively address the sexual health needs of young people. Play Safe is not just another website on sexual health. The website uses state-of-the-art online technology to power the sexual health promotion initiative, and is an outstanding example of collaboration of health promotion practice and research between NSW STIPU and CSRH.

Stigmatisation of people who inject illicit drugs

by Max Hopwood

Dr Max Hopwood from the Centre for Social Research in Health at UNSW appears in a recently released documentary which explores the dynamics of stigmatisation and discrimination against people who inject drugs.

In 2012, the Australian Injecting and Illicit Drug Users’ League (AIVL) released a short film titled Afternoons with Max Marshall. This fifteen minute, high production-value film explores drugs, discrimination and the media. To complement this film, AIVL produced a further two short documentary films in December 2012.

The film and the accompanying documentaries are aimed at TAFE and university students, and any audience interested in understanding more about the social processes which underpin stigmatisation. It is hoped they will raise awareness about stigma and discrimination.

AIDS 2014 affiliated independent event

CSRH will be co-hosting a pre-conference symposium—Social Research and the response to HIV: Legacy and future—together with the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society on 18 July in Melbourne during the lead-up to AIDS 2014.

The symposium will provide an opportunity to take stock, and think about the future. Consisting of four inter-linked sessions—on past legacy, the present context, upcoming developments and future horizons—it will be of interest to social researchers, policy makers and activists alike.

Seats are limited to 90 so register quickly to express your interest in participating in this key event.

Postgraduate research at CSRH


This year, we welcome three new research students. Eva Buzo (supervised by Peter Aggleton and Joanne Bryant) will examine how men perceive themselves as agents of change and prevention in addressing sexual and gender-based violence in post-conflict settings, focused on Sri Lanka as a case study. Nyah Harwood (supervised by Max Hopwood, kylie valentine and Jake Rance) will explore how trans people who inject drugs in Australia are constituted through harm reduction discourses. Nga Thi Thu Vu (supervised by John de Wit and Martin Holt) will investigate the use of amphetamine-type-stimulants in relation to HIV-related sexual behaviours among MSM in Vietnam.


Four of our research students will graduate in June. Doctorates will be awarded to Denton Callander for a thesis (supervised by Martin Holt and Christy Newman) exploring concepts of race among gay men looking for sex or dates online, Maude Frances for a thesis (supervised by Carla Treloar and Joanne Bryant) on internet practices among people with hepatitis C, and Dean Murphy for a thesis (supervised by Asha Persson and Christy Newman) on kinship among gay men pursuing parenthood through surrogacy. Hannah Wilson will be awarded an MA by Research for a thesis (supervised by Joanne Bryant and Loren Brener) on the potential role of tattooists in delivering harm reduction to at risk clients. 



Our innovative
Postgraduate Research Program

Our world class program of social and behavioural research on HIV, viral hepatitis and sexually transmissible infections also includes the social aspects of sexual health, sex education, injecting and illicit drug use, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health. Find out more...

AIDS 2014
20th International AIDS Conference • 20–25 July

This conference is the premier gathering for those working in the field of HIV, as well as policy makers, persons living with HIV and other individuals committed to ending the pandemic. It is a chance to assess where we are, evaluate recent scientific developments and lessons learnt, and collectively chart a course forward. CSRH is co-hosting a not-to-be missed pre-conference symposium. See main articles. Read more...


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CSRH research portal

The portal showcases those research projects conducted in collaboration with sector partners. It also enables participation in online surveys.
Go to the CSRH research portal...

CSRH website

This is the home of CSRH at UNSW Australia where you may read about our mission, values, staff, postgraduate students and extensive range of social and behavioural research. Here you will find downloadable copies of our research reports, our Annual Report and our Annual Report of Trends in Behaviour. Go to the CSRH website...

Contact us

If you have any queries about the articles in this newsletter or CSRH, please contact Ann Whitelaw by telephoning +61 2 9385 6776 or by email to: csrh@unsw.edu.au


Ms Judi Rainbow
Dr Philippe Adam

CSRH 2014 Seminar Series

We host a series of monthly research seminars where our staff, postgraduate students and other stakeholders share their work. These seminars are attended by a range of professionals who work with people affected by HIV, viral hepatitis and illicit drugs. If you would like to stay abreast of our upcoming seminars and special events, use the following link to register for an electronic reminder. Register here...

Latest News


CSRH extends research collaboration in China

In April, Professor John de Wit and Dr Limin Mao revisited the highly prestigious Tsinghua and Fudan Universities to expand capacity building of Chinese HIV social research. This was supported by UNSW 2013 International Contestible Funding to strengthen and expand collaboration with Chinese social and public health researchers in the area of HIV prevention and treatment.

Upcoming Postgraduate Research Symposium: sex, drugs and risk

This inaugural symposium to be held at UNSW in August is for postgraduate research students currently enrolled at one of the three UNSW centres co-hosting the symposium: CSRH, Kirby and NDARC. A unique opportunity for health researchers to facilitate new connections with others interested in sex, drugs and risk while also sharing research strengths and approaches. Read more...

Dean's Annual Research Awards, UNSW Arts & Social Sciences

This year the Social Impact Award went to our Gay Community Periodic Survey team for excellence in research performance. The team includes Associate Professor Martin Holt, Dr Limin Mao, Dr Toby Lea, Ms Evelyn Lee, Mr Peter Hull and Professor John de Wit. Equally successful on the night was Dr Dean Murphy for the 'Most publishable manuscript by an early career researcher or HDR completer'

Australia's HIV prevention response

Published to coincide with the Melbourne AIDS 2014 conference, this issue of the journal AIDS Education and Prevention offers a state-of the-art analysis of Australia’s prevention response to HIV. Edited by Peter Aggleton (CSRH) and Susan Kippax (SPRC), it highlights key factors contributing to success, as well as challenges that remain. Read more...
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