Category: Research

COVID-19 restrictions and changing sexual behaviours in MSM in London, UK

A recent article in the journal Sexually Transmitted Infections has looked at changes in behaviour in MSM in London during the Covid 19 pandemic. The study was web-based and only among HIV-negative MSM in a large urban setting.

Objectives: The COVID-19 pandemic and its related restrictions have affected attendance to and delivery of UK sexual healthcare services.

Methods: This was a cross-sectional, anonymous, web-based survey among HIV-negative MSM at high risk of HIV infection who attended  a sexual health and HIV clinic in London in August 2020. They collected data on sociodemographic characteristics, sexual behaviour and related mental well-being experienced during lockdown.

Results: 814 MSM completed the questionnaire: 75% were PrEP users; three quarters reported they have been sexually active, about half  had sex outside their household. The majority reported fewer partners than prior to lockdown. Interestingly 73% had discussed COVID-19 transmission risks with their sexual partners.

One out of five reported guilt for breaching COVID-19 restrictions and three out of four implemented one or more changes to their sexual behaviour. PrEP users reported higher partner number, engagement in ‘chemsex’ and use of sexual health services than non-PrEP users.

Conclusions: COVID-19 restrictions had a considerable impact on sexual behaviour and mental well-being in respondents. High rates of sexual activity and STI diagnoses were reported during lockdown. Changes to sexual health services provision for MSM must respond to high rates of psychological and STI-related morbidity and the challenges faced by this population in accessing services.

Invitation for applications for funds for original research or PhD Studentship – 2021

We invite researchers in various fields related to sexual health, HIV and other sexually transmitted infections to apply for funds to undertake:

  1. Original research
  2. Part funding of PhD Studentship

This year, due to the Covid-19 pandemic we will only consider research applications or PhD Studentships that in some way address the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on sexual health, HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.

Sexually Transmitted Infections Research Foundation (STIRF) was set up to pump prime research projects relating to the epidemiology, pathophysiology, management, and health care delivery of sexually transmitted infections and HIV in the West Midlands, Trent, Yorkshire, Northern and North West regions.

The primary aim is to provide initial funding to allow promising projects from researchers early in their career to obtain preliminary results as a prelude to acquire further funds from larger funding bodies.

We invite applications from researchers in the above regions on projects or part funding of PhD Studentships relating to the impact of COVID-19 on sexual health, sexually transmitted diseases and HIV. All projects will be initially screened by the Scientific Committee of STIRF and those considered suitable will be sent for peer review by experts in the field.

The following fields of research will be considered in relation to the impact of COVID-19 on sexual health, STIs and HIV

  • Epidemiology of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases
  • Research on HPV and other sexually transmissible malignancies
  • Health care delivery including views of clients
  • Issues relating to deprived or marginalised communities.
  • Pathophysiology of diseases and syndromes
  • Inter-relationship between diseases
  • Treatment modalities
  • Complications of treatment and co-morbidities

Applications for research grants should not exceed £50,000 in the first year. Depending on satisfactory reports a further £25,000 may be available for the second year. Joint funding with other grant giving bodies will be considered. Applications for part funding of PhD Studentship should not exceed a maximum of £60,000 over 3-4 years

For further information and guidance on how to apply for a research grant visit:

https://stirf.org/application-for-research-funds-from-stirf/

And for details of how to apply for part funding of a PhD Studentship visit:

https://stirf.org/research/applications-for-part-funding-of-phd-in-sexual-health-and-related-topics/

Deadline for applications (both for research projects and PhD Studentship) has been extended to January 31, 2021

Invitation to apply for PhD Studentship 2020

The Sexually Transmitted Infection Research Foundation (STIRF) is a local charity which supports research relating to all aspects of sexual health including clinical practice, public health, microbiology, health economics and behavioural science.

STIRF wishes to fund a PhD Studentship up to a maximum of £60 000 over 3-4 years and is inviting applications with a closing date of February 29, 2020.(see below)

Applications would only be considered from universities in the following UK health regions:

West Midlands, Trent, Yorkshire, Northern and North West regions

For details of how to apply go to:

Applications for part funding of PhD in sexual health and related topics

Deadline for applications: Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, in line with other fund giving bodies, applications are suspended until further notice

STIRIG: Sexually Transmitted Infections Research Interest Group

Visit STIRIG: if you are interested in current research going on in sexually transmitted infections.

SITRIG is part of London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

LSHTM is a world-leader for STI research, and is a WHO Collaborating Centre for Sexually Transmitted Infections.

STIRIG aim to:

  • Raise awareness of STI-related research being conducted at LSHTM
  • Increase cross-disciplinary and cross-Faculty work on STIs
  • Develop internal and external collaborations
  • Maximise funding opportunities

See the January issue of their newsletter.

 

Invitation to apply for research funds: 2019 round

We invite researchers in various fields related to sexual health, HIV and other sexually transmitted viruses to apply for research funds.

Sexually Transmitted Infections Research Foundation (STIRF) was set up to pump prime research projects relating to the epidemiology, pathophysiology, management, and health care delivery of sexually transmitted infections and HIV in the West Midlands, Trent, Yorkshire, Northern and North West regions.

The primary aim is to provide initial funding to allow promising projects from researchers early in their career to obtain preliminary results as a prelude to acquire further funds from larger funding bodies.

We invite applications from researchers in the above regions on projects relating to sexually transmitted diseases and HIV. All projects will be initially screened by the Scientific Committee of STIRF and those considered suitable will be sent for peer review by experts in the field.

The following fields of research will be considered in relation to STIs and HIV

  • Epidemiology of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases
  • Research on HPV and other sexually transmissible malignancies
  • Health care delivery including views of clients
  • Issues relating to deprived or marginalised communities.
  • Pathophysiology of diseases and syndromes
  • Inter-relationship between diseases
  • Treatment modalities
  • Complications of treatment and co-morbidities

 

Applications should not exceed £50,000 in the first year. Depending on satisfactory reports a further £25,000 may be available for the second year. Joint funding with other grant giving bodies will be considered.

For further information and guidance on how to apply visit

https://stirf.org/application-for-research-funds-from-stirf/

 

Deadline for applications:  February 29 2019

Applications using the appropriate form downloaded from the STIRF web site should be sent with a short CV of the lead investigator by email to:

Dr Mohsen Shahmanesh, (Hon Secretary STIRF)

Stirfweb@gmail.com

PhD Studentship award at University of York

STIRF has awarded a 3-year PhD studentship under the supervision of Professor Amanda J. Mason-Jones at the Department of Global Health, Department of Health Sciences, Faculty of Science, University of York, UK.

Subject:

“HPV vaccination for preventing cervical and other HPV-associated cancers: Comparing the knowledge and understanding of factors influencing initiation and completion of the UK and Ugandian school-based vaccination programme”.

Funding for this project has been kindly provided by JoLi Trust

 

Suitable applicants should apply at the following site:

PhD studentship application

 

New project approved for 2018: Provision and Accessibility of Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) in North England and the West Midlands.

Project title: Exploring perspectives on provision and accessibility of Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) in North England and the West Midlands.

Principal Investigator Professor Marie Claire Van Hout

Team: Professor Vivian Hope; Mr Jim McVeigh: Mrs Jennifer Germain

Site: Public Health Institute, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool

The United Kingdom (UK) has a concentrated HIV epidemic, with an estimated 101,200 people living with HIV in 2015. A decrease in diagnoses among men who have sex with men (MSM), the group most affected by HIV transmission, has recently been observed, and is probably due to increased frequency of testing (3 monthly) among those at greatest risk and rapid treatment for those testing positive.

Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is an evidence based biomedical HIV prevention strategy which involves HIV negative individuals taking antiretroviral drugs to reduce probability of infection if exposed. The UK PROUD study found PrEP reduced HIV infection risk by 86% among MSM. PrEP is available on the NHS in Wales and Scotland. In October 2017, the IMPACT trial commenced in England, with PrEP being rolled out to 10,000 eligible people.

The project will explore and describe MSM and health professional perspectives on PrEP using qualitative interviews in three Northern cities (Liverpool, Manchester, Sheffield) and one city in the West Midlands (Birmingham) where PrEP is available through the IMPACT trial. Interviews with a purposive sample of participants (8-12 MSM and 4-8 health professionals per city) will focus on: PrEP awareness and sources of information including eligibility, compliance, drug interaction and online sourcing; impact of PrEP on HIV testing patterns, hepatitis C, sexual risk and other sexually transmitted infections; and on issues related to accessing PrEP and optimal service provision

The project is timely given the current IMPACT trial in England, with results informing policy, practice and professional training.

STIRF invites applicants for PhD Studentship

The Sexually Transmitted Infection Research Foundation (STIRF) is a local charity which supports research relating to all aspects of sexual health including clinical practice, public health, microbiology, health economics and behavioural science.

STIRF wishes to fund a PhD Studentship up to a maximum of £60 000 over 3-4 years and is inviting applications with a closing date of July 31, 2018.

Applications would only be considered from universities in the following UK health regions:

West Midlands, Trent, Yorkshire, Northern and North West regions

For details of how to apply go to:

Applications for part funding of PhD in sexual health and related topics