Publications from the SiREN Team & Members 

Evaluation of the Young Deadly Free peer education training program: early results, methodological challenges, and learnings for future evaluations. This paper explores the challenges and strengths associated with the implementation of the Young Deadly STI and BBV free project (a peer education training program) and addresses implications for developing culturally inclusive evaluation practices. 

‘Everyone knows everyone’: youth perceptions of relationships and sexuality education, condom access and health services in a rural town. This paper reports on findings from interviews with young people when asked about experiences and perspectives accessing RSE and sexual health services in a small rural Australian town. It found participants want uncomplicated access to sexual health services and information. The findings of this study have practical implications for the sexual health needs of young people in a rural setting.


Ageing among people with HIV or Chronic HBV/HCV in the ACT: A brief report. This report extends understandings of the complex and changing needs of the ageing populations living with chronic hepatitis B (HBV), hepatitis C (HCV), and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet: Annual report 2018. This report documents the past 12-months for Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet.

ARCSHS Annual Report 2018. This report showcases the many ways in which ARCSHS work collaboratively and in partnership with communities, community-based organisations, government and professionals in relevant fields to produce research that promotes positive change in policy, practice and people's lives.

National Survey of Secondary Students and Sexual Health 2018.  This is a national study which explores the sexual health and well-being of Australian adolescents. The report covers topics such as identity, behaviour, STI and BBV knowledge and educational experiences.


Straight from the Source: Ep. 9 Tara – Taking back power over her health. Tara’s story is a personal account of childhood trauma, going through the court system, and advocating for improvements in the AOD system. She discusses factors which impact upon substance use and treatment.

The Hook Up: Chlamydia. This quick little episode discusses chlamydia with sexual health expert Dr Vincent Cornelisse. Great discussion for young people on what to look for, how to prevent it, and what to do if you find out you have it.

Journal Articles 

Towards an information motivation and behavioural skills model for new sex partners: Results of a study of condom use as an HIV prevention method for emerging adults who met partners on dating and sex-seeking platforms or offline. This study aimed to identify factors that affect condom use with new sex partners using the information, motivation, behavioural skills model (IMB). A key finding showed individuals perceived condom use skills influenced the likelihood of condom use for new sexual encounters. The findings from this study suggest the IMB model may be helpful in reducing the likelihood of condomless sex.

Predictors of daily adherence to HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis in gay/bisexual men in the PRELUDE demonstration project. This study compared two biological and two self-reported measures and identified predictors of daily PrEP adherence among gay and bisexual men in their first 12 months on PRELUDE. The study found participants maintained high adherence to daily PrEP over the 12 months. This study provides support for the use of facilitated recall to determine adherence to PrEP in routine clinical practice.

A multilevel analysis of social network characteristics and technology use on HIV risk and protective behaviours among transgender women. This study examined, through surveys, the structure of transgender women’s social networks and HIV risk/protective behaviours. Social network factors were associated with HIV risk/protective behaviours and social network sites and technology use patterns moderated these associations. This study demonstrates the impactful role that social network structure plays in influencing HIV risk/protective behaviours among transwomen and lays the foundation for the development of technology-based network interventions.

Culture, Health & Sexuality (Volume 21, Issue 3)
HIV-related ‘conspiracy beliefs’: lived experiences of racism and socio-economic exclusion among people living with HIV in New York City. This study conducted interviews with low-income Black and Latinx people people living with HIV who were currently, or had recently, disengaged from HIV medical care. The interviews highlighted the racism and classism experienced by participants. Findings suggest future interventions should focus on fostering positive beliefs about HIV medication; and health providers should take care to differentiate themselves from pharmaceutical companies.

Harm Reduction (Volume 16, Issue 16)
Co-design of harm reduction materials for people who inject drugs to implement research findings. This commentary reflects on the involvement of PWID as co-designers of harm reduction materials. It suggests that placing peers at the heart of research implementation is essential to ensuring the materials are appropriate and engaging and do not stigmatise or alienate the intended audience unintentionally. 

Understanding the public health consequences of suspending a rural syringe service program: a qualitative study of the experiences of people who inject drugs. This study explores the public health implications of the suspension of a syringe service program (SSP) among rural people who inject drugs. This study demonstrates that the suspension of SSP increased risk for HIV/HCV acquisition and overdose among PWID. This study can be used as a call to action for sustaining evidence-based SSP interventions in rural settings.

Journal of Medical Internet Research (Volume 21, Issue 5)
Tools for the diagnosis of herpes simplex virus ½: systematic review of studies published between 2012 and 2018. This systematic review summarises recent studies evaluating HSV-1 and HSV-2 diagnostic tools. This review concludes that sensitive, rapid, and efficient HSV diagnostic tools should be adopted for the prevention of acute infections and neonatal herpes.

#PrEP4Love: An evaluation of a sex-positive HIV prevention campaign. This study evaluates PrEP4Love, a campaign that uses health equity and sex-positivity social marketing approaches for information dissemination. This paper demonstrates the success and limitations of a grassroots, data-driven, sex positive sexual health campaign aimed at increasing PrEP awareness.  

International Journal of Drug Policy (Volume 66 & 67)
Low rate of reinfection among a cohort of people who use drugs successfully treated for hepatitis C virus infection in Vancouver, Canada. The aim of this study was to evaluate reinfection following successful treatment for hepatitis C virus infection in a cohort of people who inject drugs. Methods included HCV RNA measurements. The study found the few who reinfected were young and more often male. This study suggests approaches including long-term maintenance in multidisciplinary care may optimise long-term outcomes of HCV treatment in PWID.  

Sex Education (Volume 19, Issue 3)
Australian students’ experiences of sexuality education at school. This study explored young people’s experiences of school-based sexuality education in Australia. The study found individuals reported current Australian sexuality education as ‘somewhat relevant’ which suggests need for altering sexuality education to better meet student needs. This study provides practical recommendations including: teacher training; addressing the differing needs of young men, women and LGBT persons; and providing education which both clarifies and reinforces knowledge acquired elsewhere.

Effects of a life skills-based sexuality education programme on the life-skills, sexuality knowledge, self-management skills for sexual health, and programme satisfaction of adolescents. This study aimed to develop and establish efficacy of a life skills-based sexuality education programme for high school students that focused on prevention. Findings indicate that a life skills-based sexuality programme was more effective than the traditional lecture-based sexuality programme and improved sexual and reproductive health related knowledge and self-management skills.

Sexual Health (Volume 16, Issue 3)
Chronic hepatitis B prevalence in Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people before and after implementing a universal vaccination program: a systematic review and meta-analysis. This systematic review and meta-analysis suggests prevalence of HBV has decreased. However, routine testing is needed to identify infection early, provide treatment. and identify those who can be offered the HBV vaccination.

Sexually Transmitted Infections (Volume 95, Issue 3)
Human papillomavirus vaccine uptake among young gay and bisexual men who have sex with men with a time-limited targeted vaccination programme through sexual health clinics in Melbourne in 2017. This article examined the uptake of the HPV vaccine among young MSM (men who have sex with men) attending the Melbourne Sexual Health Centre. Findings highlight a clinic-based targeted MSM programme may not reach sufficiently high vaccine coverage to provide MSM with the same vaccine benefits as heterosexuals. However, the study suggests patient education and the use of patient reminder and recall systems as well as educational training to clinicians and a targeted MSM programme may increase HPV vaccine uptake among MSM.  

Foster care, syndemic health disparities and associations with HIV/STI diagnoses among young adult substance users. This study compares sexual risk behaviours among a sample of young adult substance users with and without foster care histories. The findings indicated that foster care alumni were more likely to report a prior HIV/STI diagnosis. This study recommends clinicians and healthcare providers provide foster care alumni with detailed HIV/STI risk reduction information and resources and services to address related syndemic vulnerabilities.