The latest in all things ARCSHS.

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Picking up pace!

As the leaves change colour and the days get shorter, ARCSHS is busier than ever.

As part of ARCSHS' 25th Birthday celebrations, we are looking forward to hearing the Hon. Michael Kirby AC CMG explore the legal and moral complexity that lies at the intersection of law, sexuality and health. His lecture next month is part of the Bold Thinking Series also celebrating La Trobe University's 50th Anniversary and La Trobe University's Law School (which also marks its 25th anniversary in 2017). See the Upcoming Events section below for more information about this and other events on the ARCSHS calendar.

In other exciting news, ARCSHS has recently welcomed Associate Professor Adam Bourne who is leading work in LGBTI health and wellbeing and Associate Professor Christopher Fisher who is leading research in young people's sexual health. Hailing from different parts of the globe, Adam and Christopher are both featured in this newsletter (see the Our People section for more).

As always, thank you for your contribution to - and interest in - our work. I hope you enjoy reading about it.

Warm regards,

Professor Jayne Lucke

Director, ARCSHS


Research Features
PozQol - Valuing Quality of Life among PLHIV

The PozQoL project is developing a better way for community and health programs to understand their impact on improving the quality of life of PLHIV.

Launched in March, this survey is testing different ways of asking about quality of life to develop a short scale to be used by community and health programs to evaluate programs for PLHIV, as well as in national research studies.

The study is recruiting 300 PLHIV to complete the survey at

The development of the scale is also a response to the wider debate in HIV research and policy on moving from the narrow focus on viral suppression toward improving the quality of life of PLHIV.

This project is a partnership with National Association of People with HIV Australia and ViiV HealthCare, in collaboration with Living Positive Victoria, Positive Life NSW and Queensland Positive People.

Want to get involved?

Click through this link and fill in the survey.

Get in touch

To find out more about this project contact Dr Graham Brown on +61 3 9479 8700 or

The Australian Vaccine Attitudes Study

A new La Trobe University research project is examining why some people support and others oppose childhood vaccinations.

Lead researcher Tom Rozbroj is surveying pro and anti vaxxers to determine how attitudes to vaccination relate to broader beliefs and experiences.

The point of the research isn't to judge or challenge people's views, but to understand them better. Rozbroj said "Every parent, no matter what their vaccine attitude, is trying to do the best for their child. Our research isn't about judging, but rather understanding. The identity of participants will be protected."

This research examines attitudes on vaccination, health and life in general. It includes questions about personal experiences and knowledge of the vaccination schedule, views on mainstream and holistic medicine and trust in government, pharmaceutical companies and science.

Want to get involved?

Participants must be over 18 and living in Australia. To find out more and take part visit

Get in touch

To find out more about this project contact Tomas Rozbroj on +61 3 9479 8741 or

Our People

Associate Professor & ARCSHS Principal Research Fellow: Adam Bourne

Adam Bourne is the newly appointed Associate Professor and Principal Research Fellow in LGBT Health and Human Rights at ARCSHS. He comes to us from our UK sister organisation - the Sigma Research group at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, where he spent the last 9 years. Adam specialises in qualitative methods and community surveying, particularly in relation to HIV risk related behaviour, biomedical technologies and drug use.

He has recently worked with the International HIV/AIDS Alliance on projects relating to PrEP acceptability in China and Malaysia and is currently co-investigator of a large study of social and sexual networks of men who have sex with men in Kenya and South Africa.

Adam is Associate Editor of Sexually Transmitted Infections and is also currently preparing to co-edit two separate journal special issues focussing on drug use and harm reduction response among sexual minority populations.

He looks forward to meeting colleagues across the state, country and broader SEA region to develop exciting new research collaborations in the coming months.


Associate Professor & ARCSHS Principal Research
Fellow: Christopher M. Fisher

Dr Christopher M Fisher joined ARCSHS in February 2017. He
is leading the ARCSHS Strategic Plan area of Young People's
Sexual Health. Working with Dr Wendy Heywood, Dr Graham
Brown, and Professor Jayne Lucke, Dr Fisher is leading the 6th
National Survey of Australian Secondary Students and Sexual
Health (launching in 2018).

With a background in human sexuality studies and sexual and
public health, Christopher previously worked at Curtin University,
University of Nebraska Medical Center, Indiana University and
San Francisco State University. He has developed and taught
a range of classes in Human Sexuality, Research Methods,
Community-Based Participatory Research, and Health Promotion.
He has conducted numerous funded research projects on
community-based participatory research, LGBT health, HIV/AIDS
prevention and care, and sexual literacy efforts in NGOs and general
adult populations.

Christopher is excited to continue living and working in Australia.
He enjoys spending time with his dog, Max (also from the United
States), motorbike tours through the Yarra Ranges (and other
places yet to be explored), and adventures in Melbourne finding
the best cafes and coffee shops.

Find out more about Dr Christopher Fisher here.


Latest News


Project Updates


HIV Futures 8: results from national survey launched

Findings from the latest HIV Futures survey, HIV Futures 8, have recently been launched by ARCSHS.

HIV Futures is the most comprehensive national survey of people living with HIV (PLHIV) in Australia. The survey explores the experience of living with HIV in Australia, including the physical and mental health, treatment use, relationships, work and financial situation of PLHIV.

The survey has been conducted periodically for nearly two decades. It is used widely to help shape policy development and service delivery and the findings chart an important chapter in LGBT history.

HIV Futures has captured some significant changes that have occurred for PLHIV in Australia since 1997, when ARCSHS ran the first HIV Futures survey. Findings from Futures 8 reveal that, while most people living with HIV are doing well and accessing quality healthcare and treatment, stigma is still a major issue. Concerns about disclosure of HIV status and fears of rejection from friends, family and potential partners are just as present for people living with HIV as they were in 1997.

Reports can be downloaded from the ARCSHS website.

The Power of Peers: Stage 2 of the W3 Project begins

Back row - Graham Brown (ARCSHS), Steph Tzanetis (Harm Reduction Victoria), Brent Allan (Living Positive Victoria), Front Row - Charles Henderson (Harm Reduction Victoria) and Tim Krulic (Living Positive Victoria

ARCSHS, Living Positive Victoria and Harm Reduction Victoria have signed a new 3 year collaboration agreement as part of the What Works and Why (W3) project.

The What Works and Why (W3) project is a groundbreaking study investigating the role of peer-led programs and their influence in their community, policy and sector systems. In stage 1 (2013-2016) the project worked with 10 community and peer-led organisations to develop a new quality and evaluation framework for peer-led programs.

In stage 2 (2016-2019) the W3 project will be working with Harm Reduction Victoria and Living Positive Victoria to apply the framework at an organisational level. This will include the development of practical tools and approaches to evaluate and improve the impact and quality of programs as well as share real-time knowledge with the broader sector and policy response.

The W3 Project is funded by the Commonwealth Department of Health.

For more information on the W3 Project go to

1st Anniversary of Hepatitis C DAA treatment:
Victoria's achievements, opportunities and reflections.

On the 29th March, over 80 people across Victoria came together to mark the first anniversary of the PBS listing and roll out of the Direct Acting Antiviral (DAA) treatments.

This full-day forum showcased a selection of new treatment models in Aboriginal, regional/rural areas, AOD and homeless sectors, exploring how they have taken up the task of re-orientating the delivery of treatment from tertiary to community settings.

Nine services presented on their work, highlighting that the key to the success of their treatment models are collaboration and partnership, building the capacity of the whole of service - not just clinicians - and addressing the stigma and discrimination that is associated with hepatitis C.

Event Announcement

The 3rd National LGBT Ageing and Aged Care Conference 
It's About Time: Rethinking LGBTI Ageing in Australia

The Val's team are busy planning the 3rd National LGBTI Ageing and Aged Care conference, organised by Val's and GLHV together with an amazing team of individuals and organisations. More information to be announced soon, but in the meantime remember to save the dates - 5 & 6 October 2017 at Novotel on Collins, Collins Street Melbourne.

Thanks to the Australian Gay & Lesbian Archives for providing the gorgeous historical images used in the conference postcard shown above.


ARCSHS Deputy Director, Professor Gary Dowsett, spent two weeks in March at the University of Pretoria in South Africa as a Visiting Fellow at the Centre for Sexualities, AIDS and Gender and at the Centre for the Advancement of Scholarship.

It was a busy trip and included:

  • Delivering the keynote address at a two-day colloquium: 'Sexualities - Trans(lations), fictions, fantasies and Id(entities)'
  • Launching the first English translation of the original edition of Sigmund Freud's Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality
  • A panel discussion on the newly released report from the Academy of Science in South Africa on Diversity in Human Sexuality - Implications for Policy in Africa.

Holding an intensive proposal defence workshop for students working on LGBTI issues in Southern Africa at the Centre for Human Rights.

ARCSHS' Matthew Parsons recently gave a fantastic presentation titled "On The Margin of the Margin, the experiences of LGBTI people with intellectual disability" at the SexED UP Expo.

SexED UP Expo featured workshops, information and training sessions to address sexuality and intimacy for people living with a disability.

Follow their page for more info: STABILISE

GLHV @ ARCSHS' Dr Philomena Horsley recently contributed her expertise to a panel appearing before the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Jack Wallace chaired and presented at a symposium held at the Asia Pacific Association for the Study of the Liver (APASL) 2017 conference in Shanghai. This symposium was the first APASL Non-Government Organisation joint forum, titled Viral Hepatitis Elimination Through Partnerships: Towards a World with NOhep.

The forum objectives were to provide a platform for collaboration and exchange between NGOs and other parties working in hepatitis advocacy, and build awareness of and commitment to the recently launched global movement, NoHep. More info can be found here.

Dr Andrea Waling just returned from the Annual American Men's Studies Association Conference with two presentations on her area of expertise: The Elusive Dick Pick: Exploring the cultural framing of men's motivations for sending unsolicited sexually explicit material to women, and "They Thought I Was Like A Dumb-ass Bogan": Australian Bogans as the Undesirable Masculine Other.

Next year Dr Waling is thrilled to be co-chairing the conference with Dr Jonathan A. Allen and Dr Frank Karioris.

Resource Feature 

GLHV's first LGBTI-inclusive practice guide was published in 2013 to accompany the development of the Rainbow Tick. Much has changed, however, in the four years since the original guide was released. This revised edition is informed by feedback from LGBTI consumers and community organisations and services working towards Rainbow Tick accreditation. It is also informed by feedback from QIP assessors about their experiences in using the Guide in conducting Rainbow Tick assessments. Over the same time, there has been a growth in the research and understanding of LGBTI-inclusive practice, and ongoing legislative and social reforms that are having a significant impact on LGBTI people's everyday lives.

This second edition of the LGBTI-inclusive practice guide includes:

  • Revised and expanded quality indicators for each of the six Standards
  • New research on LGBTI health and wellbeing and LGBTI-inclusive practice
  • New material on trans and gender diverse people
  • New material on people with intersex variations
  • Greater attention to diversity within LGBTI communities including material on LGBTI people with disabilities, older LGBTI people and Aboriginal LGBTI people
  • New material on LGBTI staff and volunteers
  • An expanded glossary that includes LGBTI and Quality Improvement terms; and
  • Good practice examples.

The revisions and additions have been overseen by an expert advisory group that included representatives from a diverse range of LGBTI community, academic and health care organisations and experts in quality improvement and accreditation. Download this resource here.

GLHV also offers staff training and professional development on LGBTI issues and inclusive practice and a HOW2 Program that assists organisations in meeting each of the six standards. See for more information.

Upcoming Events

Health, Law and Sexuality

Join us for a special event featuring a keynote address by The Hon. Michael Kirby AC CMG as he explores the legal and moral complexity that lies at the intersection of law, sexuality and health.

Justice Kirby will explore international conventions and the United Nations' work on human rights, HIV/AIDS, and sexual and reproductive health issues. He will also review the situation for sexual and gender minorities in relation to international and criminal law.

La Trobe University's experts in law and sexuality Professor Anne-Maree Farrell and ARCSHS' Professor Gary Dowsett will take up these arguments, looking at the increasing centrality of sexuality to politics and social life in the last 100 years and exploring the changing relations between the law, sexuality and health in the twenty-first century.

Date: Thursday 4 May 2017, 5.30pm - 6.45pm
Location: Great Hall, National Gallery of Victoria, 180 St Kilda Road Enter via main entrance (Water-wall) Melbourne, VIC 3004. View Map.
Cost: $10 - $20
More details: You can find out more details, and book here.

HIV and Hepatitis Pre and Post Test Discussion -
A short course for community and health workers 

Courses in post test counselling are run by the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society (ARCSHS) several times throughout the year.

This comprehensive accreditation program is designed to equip participants with appropriate knowledge and skills to engage in pre- and post- HIV and hepatitis C antibody test discussion, and prevention education, in a range of settings./p>

Date: Monday 08 May 2017 09:00 am until Tuesday 09 May 2017 05:00 pm
Location: La Trobe University, 215 Franklin Street, Melbourne 3000
Cost: $350
More details: Visit the ARCSHS website


ARCSHS 25th Anniversary Distinguished Lecture Series Presents: 

Emeritus Professor Susan Kippax

Working in Public Health: Challenges for Social Scientists in HIV Prevention Research

Susan Kippax has a PhD in Social Psychology and is a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences of Australia. She is Emeritus Professor in the Social Policy Research Centre, University of New South Wales, Sydney, having retired from the position of Director of the National Centre in HIV Social Research (1995-2007). Professor Kippax has over thirty years has an extensive research track record in the areas of sexuality and health. She has published a number of books including Socialising the Biomedical Turn in HIV Prevention, a recent publication with Dr Niamh Stephenson, and over 200 papers in peer reviewed journals and has played a central role in framing Australia's response to HIV/AIDS. She was a founding Editor of Culture, Health & Sexuality and is joint Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of the International AIDS Society.

With reference to the history of the Australian HIV prevention response, this talk will describe the challenges of working across discipline boundaries, examining concepts that highlight the differences in approach of biomedicine and social science.

Date: Wednesday 21 June 2017, 5.30pm - 6.45pm
Location: La Trobe University, 215 Franklin Street, Melbourne 3000
Cost: Free - but booking is essential
More details: you can find out more details, and book here.


Check out our top ARCSHS picks for this quarter.

For more ARCSHS publications, visit our website.

Brown, G., Leonard, W., Lyons, A., Power, J., Sander, D., McColl, W., Johnson, R., James, C., Hodson, M., & Carman, M. (2017). Stigma, gay men and biomedical prevention: The challenges and opportunities of a rapidly changing HIV prevention landscape. Sexual Health, 14(1), 111-118. DOI: 10.1071/SH16052.

Goldhammer, D. L., Fraser, C., Wigginton, B., Harris, M. L., Bateson, D., Loxton, D., Stewart, M., Coombe, J., & Lucke, J. C. (2017). What do young Australian women want (when talking to doctors about contraception)? BMC Family Practice. DOI: 10.1186/s12875-017-0616-2.

Holt, M., Lea, T., Mao, L., Zablotska, I., Lee, E., Hull, P., De Wit, J B F, & Prestage, G. (2017). Adapting behavioural surveillance to antiretroviral-based HIV prevention: Reviewing and anticipating trends in the Australian Gay Community Periodic Surveys. Sexual Health, 14(1), 72-79. DOI: 10.1071/SH16072.

Fileborn, B., Brown, G., Lyons, A., Hinchliff, S., Heywood, W., Minichiello, V., Malta, S., Barrett, C., & Crameri, P. (2017). Safer sex in later life: Qualitative interviews with older Australians on their understandings and practices of safer sex. Journal of Sex Research . DOI: 10.1080/00224499.2017.1280121.

Dowsett, G.W. (2016) Abjection. Objection. Subjection: rethinking the history of AIDS in Australian gay men's futures. Culture,Health and Sexuality. DOI:10.1080/13691058.2016.1273392

Heywood, W., & Lyons, A. (2017). Change in subjective social status following HIV diagnosis and associated effects on mental and physical health among HIV-positive gay men in Australia. Psychology and Health.

Lyons, A., Heywood, W., Fileborn, B., Minichiello, V., Barrett, C., Brown, G., Hinchliff, S., Malta, S., & Crameri, P. (2017). The Sex, Age, and Me Study: Recruitment and sampling for a large mixed-methods study of sexual health and relationships in an older Australian population. Culture, Health and Sexuality. DOI: 10.1080/13691058.2017.1288268.

Lyons, A., Heywood, W., Fileborn, B., Minichiello, V., Barrett, C., Brown, G., Hinchliff, S., Malta, S., & Crameri, P. (2017). Sexually active older Australian's knowledge of sexually transmitted infections and safer sexual practices. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health. DOI: 10.1111/1753-6405.12655.

Power, J., Brown, G., Lyons, A., Thorpe, R., Dowsett, G. W., & Lucke, J. C. (2017). HIV Futures 8: Protocol for a repeated cross-sectional and longitudinal survey of people living with HIV in Australia. Frontiers in Public Health.

Waling, A., & Roffee, J. (2017). Knowing, performing and holding queerness: LGBTIQ+ student experiences in Australian tertiary education. Sex Education. DOI: 10.1080/14681811.2017.1294535.

ARCSHS in the Media


Our researchers have opinions, and they're out there on the world wide web. Here are some of our favourites.


ARCSHS' Director Jayne Lucke's column in The Conversation, Facts of Life recently featured:
The mosquito-borne Zika virus can also be transmitted by sexual activity.

Also in The Conversation by Jayne Lucke:
What's the point of sex? It frames gender expression and identity - or does it?

ARCSHS staff members Philomena Horsley and Matthew Parsons talked to about the stigma surrounding domestic and family violence in the LGBTI community, and the upcoming cabaret show Matthew has devised with partner Russ Vickery that explores these themes.

Read more here:
Secret shame of domestic and family violence among LGBTI community.

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