The Parliamentary Secretary for Health, Mark Butler, will open the 11th Social Research Conference on HIV, hepatitis C and related diseases at the University of New South Wales this week (8-9 April).

The conference, "Evolving knowledge and practice", hosted by the National Centre for HIV Social Research (NCHSR), examines how recent improvements in the treatment of these conditions have shifted the community's understanding of risk and prevention.

Topics to be discussed include the implementation of rapid HIV testing in USA and Europe, the invisibility of HIV-negative people in heterosexual relationships with HIV-positive partners, the role of the general practitioner in the lives of Australian gay men suffering from depression, and the complexity of treatment for hepatitis C.

"In a month or two there will be new national strategies on HIV, hepatitis C and other related diseases, so we're very grateful that the Parliamentary Secretary is attending," said Associate Professor Carla Treloar from NCHSR. "While the policies are already written, it is important to get the implementation right. This conference shows that it's a partnership between government, researchers, clinicians and people living with or affected by these conditions."

Conference highlights include presentations by:

What: NCHSR Conference "Evolving knowledge and practice"When: April 8 - 9, 2010Where: Mathews Building, UNSW Kensington campus

The full conference program is available at the NCHSR website

Media contact: Susi Hamilton, UNSW media unit | 9385 1583 | 0422 934 024