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New Paper Signals Widening of HIV Sector

22 August 2011

New Paper Signals Widening of HIV Sector

The publication of a paper from the University of Otago has been warmly welcomed by the New Zealand AIDS Foundation (NZAF) and heralded as the start of a new era in HIV research in New Zealand. Dr Peter Saxton has taken up a post doctoral fellowship at the University of Otago, a move which will greatly increase the potential resources that can be brought to bear on domestic HIV research. The NZAF has a long-term partnership with the University of Otago which houses the AIDS Epidemiology Group and has collaborated on the Gay Auckland Periodic Sex Survey (GAPSS) and Gay Online Sex Survey (GOSS).

Shaun Robinson, NZAF Executive Director, says “We are very pleased to congratulate Dr Saxton on his new position and on the publication of his first paper in a peer-reviewed journal. Moving to Otago University, means that he now has access to university resources like the skills of post-graduate students working on HIV-related topics. This is a considerable maturation and strengthening of both the NZAF’s partnership with the University of Otago and the HIV research sector in New Zealand as a whole.”

Robinson says that the HIV research sector in New Zealand remains under-resourced. “At the moment there are two full-time HIV researchers in New Zealand another four or five who work part time, compared to more than two hundred full- and part-time researchers in Australia. We are very hopeful that the university will be able to facilitate more high quality research into HIV, which is vital to combating the epidemic.”

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Dr Saxton will continue to work on topics relating to HIV and gay and bisexual men’s communities in New Zealand. GAPSS and GOSS research and analysis will also continue and will still be used by the NZAF to inform its HIV prevention and support for people living with HIV.

• Dr Saxton’s paper "Increase in HIV diagnoses among men who have sex with men in New Zealand from a stable low period" has been published in Sexual Health 8:311-318.
• The paper is available at www.publish.csiro.au/nid/164/paper/SH10087.htm

ENDS

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