If you or your organisation publish a report or journal article, let us know and we will share it as part of these emails. And don’t forget, if you are unable to access any journal articles or reports you can email us at siren@curtin.edu.au and we will send you a copy.


Presentations. Presentations from the SiREN Symposium are now available on the Symposium website. Video footage of keynote addresses from Professor Martin Holt (UNSW), Professor Rebecca Guy (UNSW), Associate Professor James Ward (SAHMRI), and Dr Joe Doyle (Burnet Institute), and the young people's panel (Kai Schweizer, YEP Crew; Habiba Asim, YEP Crew; and Stephen Boccaletti, Freedom Centre) will be uploaded in the coming days.

Evaluation. For those who attended the Symposium and were unable to complete an Evaluation Form, please keep an eye on your inbox as we will be sending delegates a link to an online evaluation form.


HIV Knowledge and use of health services among people from South East Asia and sub-Saharan Africa living in Western Australia. Published in the Health Promotion Journal of Australia by members of the SiREN Team and SiREN Management Team, this article describes findings from research undertaken with people born in sub‐Saharan Africa and South East Asia, who had arrived in Australia less than ten years ago and were living in Western Australia.


AIVL needs analysis for people living with HCV after leaving custody in Australia. Australian Injecting and Illicit Drug Users League (AIVL). This commissioned report for the Australian Government Department of Health provides assessment on the needs of people living with HCV as they are discharged from custody to improve the completion and success rates of the HCV treatment.

Stigma indicators monitoring project reports. Centre for Social Research in Health, UNSW. These reports outline the approach taken by the Centre to develop a stigma indicator and results from the first round of data collection in surveys of priority populations for the five national strategies currently addressing HIV, viral hepatitis, and sexually transmissible infections.

Start Free Stay Free AIDS Free. UNAIDS. This progress report reflects achievements made during the first year of implementation of the Start Free Stay Free AIDS Free collaborative framework to accelerate the end of the AIDS epidemic among children, adolescents and young women by 2020.

Alcohol and other drug treatment services in Australia 2016–17: key findings. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. This report provides the most recent data regarding publicly funded alcohol and other drug treatment service agencies, the people they treat, and the treatment provided.


Women on the Line. A recent episode of Women on the Line, a national feminist current affairs program for community radio, addressed medically supervised injecting rooms. Other topics include sex workers, marriage equality, and alcohol and other drugs. Listen here.

Well, well, well. Produced by the Victorian AIDS Council, the most recent episodes addresses HTLV-1; while past episodes have discussed topics such as alcohol and other drugs, HIV activism in Australia, PrEP, and beat violence. Listen here.


Journals this edition include: AIDS and Behavior; Educational Gerontology; Health Promotion Journal of Australia; International Journal of Drug Policy; Journal of Viral Hepatitis; Sex Education; Sexual Health; and Sexually Transmitted Infections.

Only a select number of articles relevant to sexual health, STIs and BBVs in the Australia context have been summarised.

AIDS and Behavior (vol. 22, issues 5-6)

Loneliness in older adults living with HIV. This cross-sectional survey in San Francisco, USA found that participants who reported feelings of loneliness were also more likely to report depression, alcohol and tobacco use, and have fewer relationships. Authors conclude a comprehensive healthcare approach is needed to improve health outcomes for the ageing HIV-positive population.

HIV-Infected Young Men Demonstrate Appropriate Risk Perceptions and Beliefs about Safer Sexual Behaviors after Human Papillomavirus Vaccination. This study aimed to identify risk perceptions after human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination among HIV-positive young MSM in the US. Results indicated that some participants perceived themselves to be at less risk of other STIs after HPV vaccination. These findings support the importance of educational interventions to provide accurate information about the limits of HPV vaccine effectiveness.

Educational Gerontology (vol. 44, issues 2-3)

Sources of information-seeking on sexually transmitted infections and safer sex by older heterosexual Australian men and women. To address rising STIs among older people in Australia and other countries, researchers examined sources of information that older people use or are willing to use for knowledge about safer sex and STIs. Findings indicate that information-seeking in the last year was low among. Commonly sought sources included general media outlets (TV, magazines), healthcare providers, and the internet. Healthcare providers who provide opportunities for older people to talk openly about sex will assist in identifying those at risk of becoming infected with an STI.

Health Promotion Journal of Australia (vol. 29, issue 1)

Not so different? Comparison of risk profile of gay men who acquired HIV while travelling with those who acquired HIV in Australia. Gay men recently diagnosed with HIV were surveyed regarding the high risk event where they believe they acquired HIV. Those who acquired HIV while overseas had very similar risk profiles, sexual behaviour, and made similar assumptions about their partners and their own HIV status, as those who acquired HIV in Australia. A deeper understanding of contextual factors may be required for HIV prevention and health promotion strategies targeting gay men travelling to locations with different cultural, HIV prevalence, and HIV testing considerations.

International Journal of Drug Policy (vol. 55)

The new MTV generation: using methamphetamine, Truvada and Viagra to enhance sex and stay safe. Part of the Following Lives Undergoing Change study, this article describes the prevalence and concurrent use of methamphetamine, Truvada (or its generic formulations) and Viagra or other erectile dysfunction medication. Results indicate that sex partying networks are increasingly adding PrEP alongside other drugs they use to enhance sexual experiences. Interventions that promote the use of PrEP during chemsex could mitigate HIV risk. 

The rush to risk when interrogating the relationship between methamphetamine use and sexual practice among gay and bisexual men. This article examines dominant dominant interpretations of the methamphetamine/sexual practice relationship within public health research. Authors suggest that both interpretations are problematic as they cast drug and sex practices as inherently risky and individually determined. Instead, authors outline the ways in which gay and bisexual men may use methamphetamine and sex as social resources around which to build identities, establish relationships, participate in gay communities, and maximise pleasure while protecting themselves and others from harm.

Journal of Viral Hepatitis (vol. 25, issues 4-5)

The benefits of hepatitis C virus cure: every rose has thorns. This article examines mid-term benefits on hepatic complications, extrahepatic clinical syndromes and quality of life associated with HCV cure; reviews the few safety issues linked to oral direct- acting antivirals; and discusses discuss the potential population benefits of reducing the burden of HCV infection. Conclusions are drawn that elimination of viral hepatitis is achievable by 2030.

Quality of life in adolescents with hepatitis C treated with sofosbuvir and ribavirin. This study assessed the health-related quality of life (HRQL) of HCV positive children treated with sofosbuvir and ribavirin. Results found that HRQL did not decrease during treatment and increased after achieving sustained virologic response. School functioning was the factor most affected by HCV. These findings suggest a need for greater effort to support the education of students with HCV.

Sex Education (vol. 118, issues 3-4) Special edition: 'Trans Youth in Education'

Transgender young people's narratives of intimacy and sexual health: implications for sexuality education. This article explores transgender young people’s accounts of intimacy and sexual health through analysis of discussions of intimacy from the perspectives of transgender young people in a sample of YouTube videos. Topics and experiences discussed include intimacy, consent, dysphoria, and sex education. The authors conclude by advocating for an approach to sexuality education that focuses on functioning of body parts, so as to not only address the needs of transgender young people (who may find normative discussions of genitals distressing), but to also provide cisgender young people with a more inclusive understanding of their own and other people’s bodies and desires.

Young bisexual women's experiences in secondary schools: "Not everyone's straight so why are they only teaching that?" This article details findings from interviews with young bisexual women in New Zealand to explore the ways in which they experience and negotiate teacher and student attitudes and practices in health classes that include sexuality education. Analysis of the interviews exposed experiences of bi-misogyny and misrecognition. Authors conclude that there is need for raised awareness of the presence and learning needs of young bisexual women in secondary schools.

"I use any pronouns, and I'm questioning everything else": transgender youth and the issue of gender pronouns. This article uses data from an ethnographic study of queer youth participating in a sexuality and gender diversity support group at a New Zealand high school to explore how gendered pronouns (s/he, him, her) are used both in and outside of school. Results found that students with shifting identities experienced naming of pronouns as affronting and non-inclusive, which reinscribed power relationships by reinforcing those who had stable identities. Some students also reported a sense of relief and agency from being able to 'play' with pronouns and perform a more fluid identity. The authors conclude that gender pronouns may work as all labels should – as optional, self-assigned and shared at the discretion of the individuals themselves.

Sexual Health (vol. 15, issue 2) Special edition: 'Sharing solutions for a reasoned and evidence based response: chemsex/party and play among gay and bisexual men'

Re-Wired: treatment and peer support for men who have sex with men who use methamphetamine. This article details evaluation of Re-Wired, Australia's first structured methamphetamine treatment and peer support program for MSM. Findings demonstrate modest improvement in participant psychological distress and personal well-being, and a reduction of methamphetamine use post-treatment. This approach may be suitable for adaptation with MSM populations in similar settings.

A community-led, harm-reduction approach to chem-sex: case study from Australia's largest gay city. This article details ACON's multi-dimensional response to chemsex, which includes direct client services support; health promotion activities that support peer education; partnerships with research institutions; and policy submissions that call for drug use to be approached as a health, rather than a criminal, issue. Authors report that this response has led to increased service uptake, strong community engagement, robust research partnerships and the recognition of GBM as a priority population in relevant strategies. Lessons from Sydney bring opportunities to reflect on the importance of harm-reduction, pleasure-positive and peer-based responses to chemsex.

Gay men's chemsex survival stories. Researchers interviewed self-identified gay men living in London regarding their experiences with chemsex. Participants associated chemsex with feelings of identity and belonging within the gay community. Despite seeking therapeutic engagement, participants expressed uncertainty about maintaining a gay future without chemsex. Understandings of both why chemsex pathways may prove attractive, as well as why they may be so difficult to leave despite intervention and continued negative consequences.

Intensive sex partying with gamma-hydroxybutyrate: factors associated with using gamma-hydroxybutyrate for chemsex among Australian gay and bisexual men – results from the Flux Study. This study examined facotrs associated with gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB) use and its consequences among GBM. Being HIV-positive, having more gay friends, greater social engagement with gay men who use drugs, a greater number of sexual partners, group sex, and condomless anal intercourse with casual partners were independently associated with GHB use in the past 6 months. Greater social engagement with gay men who use drugs and group sex were independently associated with at least monthly use. Authors conclude that harm reduction interventions need to consider the impact of frequent GHB use.

Health Promotion Journal of Australia (vol. 94, issue 3)

Patterns of sexual behaviour and sexual healthcare needs among transgender individuals in Melbourne, Australia, 2011-2014. This study investigated the demographic characteristics, risk behaviours and HIV/STI positivity among transgender individuals attending the Melbourne Sexual Health Centre between 2011 and 2014. Participants in the study were found to be a diverse group, with a history of sex work being a common feature. These findings indicate that transgender individuals' sexual healthcare needs differ substantially from those in other countries, including the US and Canada.


AIDS Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome
ART Antiretroviral Therapy
BBV Blood Borne Virus
DAA Direct Acting Antiviral 
GBM Gay and Bisexual Men
GSN Geosocial Networking
GP General Practitioner
HBV Hepatitis B
HCV Hepatitis C
HIV Human Immunodeficiency Virus
IDU Injecting Drug Use
MSM Men who have Sex with Men
NSP Needle and Syringe Program
PrEP Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis
PWID People Who Inject Drugs
PLWH People Living With HIV/AIDS
STI Sexually Transmitted Infection