Kin | December 2019
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A message from our Director,
Professor Anthony Kelleher


As we approach the end of 2019, it is an opportunity to pause and reflect on the past year. It has been thoroughly inspiring to be part of a team of wonderful researchers who have continued to produce impactful, life-saving infectious disease research. 

This final quarter of the year has seen a number of research achievements. Six of our world-class researchers were collectively awarded more than $10M through the NHMRC's new and highly competitive Investigator Grants Scheme. We are very pleased with this success, but acknowledge that the success rates for early and mid career researchers were lower than expected. We will be developing processes to support applications from this group moving forward.

We were delighted to welcome the first nine participants of the Cooper HIV/AIDS Research Training (CHART) Program, who travelled from countries throughout the Asia Pacific to take part in workshops to enhance their research skills. It was wonderful to see our colleagues from across the Kirby Institute come together in mentor and teaching capacities. Applications for the 2020 CHART Program have just opened, and we encourage those eligible to apply.

As you will read further in this newsletter, the results of the first every survey into trans and gender diverse sexual health has revealed some important and concerning issues, highlighting an urgent need to prioritise health resources and services to support this population.

I would like to congratulate the five Kirby Institute PhD graduates, who graduated in the August and December: Steven Badman, Sasiwimol Ubolyam, Sahar Bajis, Ian Down, and Angie Pinto. We are proud to attract such talented researchers into our PhD program.

With World AIDS Day recently taking place on 1 December, it was inspiring to see so many leaders in the HIV space, across sectors, come together and renew our focus on tackling HIV as a public health issue in Australia and our region more broadly. Although this year we reported the lowest numbers of new HIV diagnoses in 18 years, we're now seeing a higher proportion of heterosexual and Indigenous people represented in these numbers, which means we need research and evidence-based interventions to target these groups.

Finally, I would like to thank those who have donated so generously to the David Cooper Memorial Fund appeal. I am pleased to announce that the first use of those funds will be to establish the David Cooper Postgraduate Research Scholarship, and we will be announcing the details in early 2020.

We are proud of the work that the Kirby Institute produces, and this would not be possible without the many collaborators we have across the community, policy, academia and industry. Thank you all for your continued support and contribution. We wish you a safe and happy holiday season.


Anthony Kelleher, Director of the Kirby Institute

Research Highlights
On the road to hepatitis C elimination for people living with HIV
Read More
Gay and bisexual men who use PrEP have lower anxiety Read More
Kirby Institute researchers receive over $800,000 NHMRC grant for HIV cure research using gene therapy Read More
Rethinking HIV testing in PNG
Read More
International trial uncovers crucial gaps in our understanding of influenza therapies
Read More
WATCH: Block & lock: A pathway to HIV remission Read More
First survey of trans and gender diverse sexual health reveals major gaps in health system Read More
Intestinal worm control in our region 
Read More
News and Events
David Cooper Memorial Fund appeal

Thank you to all of you who have donated generously to the David Cooper Memorial Fund.

Your donations help us continue David's legacy, ensuring effective infectious disease treatments and prevention are available to those who need them.

Donate today
Welcoming the first participants of the Cooper HIV/AIDS Research Training Program

We were delighted to welcome nine participants, who travelled from Indonesia, Myanmar, Philippines and South Korea to take part in the first workshops of the CHART Program.

Read more
Brett Tindall Memorial Lecture

Dr Kerry Chant, NSW Chief Health Officer, delivered the 2019 Brett Tindall Memorial lecture on ‘Applying evidence to the hepatitis C and HIV response’. 

Read more
Dr Benjamin Bavinton receives prestigious Aileen Plant Memorial Prize in Infectious Diseases Epidemiology

Dr Bavinton received the prize for his first-author paper on the Opposites Attract Study, which was published in Lancet HIV last year.

Read more
End to scabies in sight as Dr Lucia Romani is recognised

Congratulations to Dr Lucia Romani, who was a finalist for the Griffith University Discovery Award at the Research Australia Health and Medical research Awards.

Read more
Kirby in the Media

Aussies turn social media data into prediction tool (25 Nov, pickr)

Aussie gay men on PrEP suffer less anxiety, study finds (25 Nov, QNews)

New research shows people on PrEP have lower anxiety about HIV
(24 Nov, OUTinPerth)

New tool harnesses AI and Twitter for early detection of disease outbreaks
(21 Nov, CSIRO)

Simplified treatment monitoring may be effective for certain HCV cases (5 Nov, Healio)

You’re still at risk! Sexually transmitted diseases in over-60s (2 Nov, startsat60.)

How measles keeps on giving: The virus hobbles your immune system for years
(31 Oct, The New Daily)

Exclusive: WHO, Congo eye tighter rules for Ebola care over immunity concerns
(31 Oct, Reuters)

Chlamydia found in testes of men with infertility (28 Oct, Medical Republic)

Screen for syphilis in pregnancy to avert tragedy (28 Oct, Medical Republic)

Sexual health care for trans & gender diverse people (8 Oct, 2ser)

Trans and gender diverse people 'four times more likely to experience sexual violence'
(23 Sep, ABC News)


New guidelines recommend 3-month STI testing for sexually active men
(22 Sep, OUTinPerth)

First survey of trans and gender diverse sexual health reveals major gaps in health system
(18 Sep, Mirage News)

'What's in your pants?': Gender diverse people exposed to high rates of sexual violence
(17 Sep, The Age)

As the private lives of trans people are dragged into public debate, it’s time for facts
(17 Sep, Guardian Australia)

First survey of trans & gender diverse sexual health reveals major gaps
(17 Sep, OUTinPerth)

First case of extensively drug-resistant typhoid reported in Australia (16 Sep, The Age)

Man says his story shows why rules on gay blood donors must change (13 Sep, 9News)

HIV in NT high but halved
(10 Sep, Centralian Advocate)

PrEP and STIs (9 Sep, QNews)

Solar-powered digital libraries to educate far corners of the world (6 Sep, OpenGov Asia)

AU$5m Federal Government Grant for University and Industry Collaboration with Recce Pharmaceuticals
(5 Sep, BioPortfolio)