The Sixth National HIV Strategy

8. Research

Page last updated: July 2010

The implementation of this strategy requires comprehensive and efficient data collection of epidemiological, behavioural and social changes over time among the most at-risk populations to provide evidence for program development and adjustment.

Research plays a critical role in providing much of the strong evidence base needed to inform policy and to design, monitor and evaluate programs at all levels. It is therefore important that research remains focused on strategic priorities. Social research will also continue to inform health promotion, treatment, care and support.

Collaborative support for research will be based on the following principles:

  • commitment to delivering strategic research through the infrastructure of the national centres in HIV research
  • encouragement of enhanced collaboration between the national centres in HIV research and other relevant research institutions, to increase the dissemination of information between research areas
  • requirement for more effective research practices and reduced duplication
  • the requirement to build research capacity across jurisdictions to maximise the return on research investment
  • the need for a competitive environment that encourages innovative ideas and research methodologies for the funding of investigator-initiated research.
The Ministerial Advisory Committee on Blood Borne Viruses and Sexually Transmitted Infections will develop mechanisms to promote these types of collaborative ventures. Consultation with stakeholders will inform research priorities. The Australian Government is committed to ensuring that the strategic research conducted by national research centres remains relevant and addresses current needs and priorities. The partners to this strategy value research that occurs in partnership with community based organisations. A process to establish research priorities will be established by
a consultative process in the following areas:
  • social, behavioural and epidemiological research in prevention, diagnosis, treatment, care and support, including into effectiveness of interventions and drivers of the increasing rates of new infections
  • clinical research on treatment and care
  • program evaluation research
  • cost-effectiveness studies to assess value for money to government and the community of HIV programs.
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Priority actions in research

  • Investigate the utility of rapid HIV testing for use in clinical and community settings in areas of high HIV prevalence, informed by experiences in comparable countries.
  • Evaluate and further develop effective peer education and peer support programs for people living with HIV as their needs and experiences change.
  • Establish more structured and formal consultative mechanisms to set the agenda for social, behavioural, evaluative, epidemiological, clinical and basic research.
  • Create opportunities for increased interaction between and collaboration with researchers, participants in research and the users of research.