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NCHSR Seminar

April 2013


National Centre in HIV Social Research  

Dear colleague

The National Centre in HIV Social Research invites you to attend our monthly seminars held on the second Wednesday of each month from 12–1pm.

This seminar will feature two presentations by Dr Limin Mao and Professor Andrew Lloyd. Information on each presentation appears below.

Everyone welcome. Click here for directions.
RSVP below if you wish to attend the seminar.

Wednesday 10 April, 12–12.30 pm

Perceived risk of HIV infection among HIV-negative gay men in Sydney

Dr Limin Mao is a Senior Research Fellow at NCHSR

Location: Room 221, Level 2, John Goodsell Building.
Map reference F20.



A recent paper published in AIDS and Behavior by Dr Limin Mao and colleagues reassessed the HIV-related risk perceptions of HIV-negative gay men. Using data from the Sydney Gay Community Periodic Surveys, gay men’s perceptions of the risk of HIV transmission were assessed by a series of scenario-based anal intercourse practices with a new casual partner of different HIV status and viral load levels. While gay men in Sydney were found to be generally well informed about potential risks of HIV infection, some results merit attention. Firstly, men who had recently engaged in unprotected anal intercourse with casual partners appeared to perceive immediate risk of HIV transmission to be lower than men who had used condoms consistently in the past six months. This suggests a false sense of ‘personal immunity’ in some men. Secondly, the survey helps to better understand how gay men assess risk depending on sexual practices, serological status and viral load. Gay men’s evaluation of HIV transmission risk is broadly based on their understandings of the hierarchy of risks associated with a range of sexual practices, with condom-protected anal intercourse as the safest. To a lesser extent, gay men’s evaluation of the risk is based on their casual partners’ HIV status and viral load levels. Together these results suggest that there is a need to better recognise the complex associations between risk perceptions, risk practices, serological status and viral load levels. These findings point to the importance of continued efforts to reinforce HIV behavioural prevention alongside recent breakthroughs in HIV biomedical interventions.


Limin's cross-disciplinary training in medicine, public health (epidemiology), and the social sciences (education and psychology) enables her to bring a broad range of theoretical perspectives and mixed-method research skills to her research. In the past ten years, she has established an outstanding track record of research in the areas of: better clinical and self-management of HIV and depression in primary health care settings; monitoring gay men’s risk practices and identifying emerging risk-reduction strategies using ongoing, repeated, cross-sectional behavioural surveillance and large-scale, prospective cohort studies; and involvement as a behavioural scientist in international, multi-site, HIV vaccine clinical trials.

Wednesday 10 April, 12.30–1 pm

Bloody prisons: risky behaviour, hepatitis viruses and prevention possibilities

Professor Andrew Lloyd AM is Director of Inflammation and Infection in the School of Medical Sciences at the University of New South Wales

This will directly follow the presentation by Limin Mao.



Professor Lloyd will discuss the incidence of, and risk behaviours for, hepatitis B and C transmission and infection in prisons. He will also address the safety and effectiveness of a nurse-led model of care for inmates of correctional facilities with chronic HCV. This model is characterised by protocol-driven assessment, triage, and management of antiviral therapy by specially trained nurses with support from specialist physicians utilising tele-medicine. Outcomes were evaluated using a mixed-method approach. This novel treatment and care model for inmates with chronic HCV offers potential to substantively increase treatment uptake and reduce the burden of disease.


Andrew is an infectious diseases physician, immunology researcher and an NHMRC Practitioner Fellow. He leads a research group studying epidemiological, clinical and basic science aspects of hepatitis C infection with NHMRC-funding (Program, Partnership, Project grants) supporting the field and laboratory studies linked to the HITS-p cohort (Hepatitis C Incidence and Transmission Study in Prisons) and an innovative nurse-led model of hepatitis treatment in the prison setting. He was awarded an Australia Medal (AM) for his work in establishing the hepatitis service in the NSW prisons and for his research achievements in infectious diseases.


Upcoming seminars


Dr Max Hopwood | May 2013

Hepatitis C and gay men

Mr Jake Rance | June 2013

Hepatitis C treatment in opiate substitution treatment settings 

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