The rapid expansion of biomedical technologies, including home and self-testing for HIV, has dramatically changed the way blood borne viruses and sexually transmitted infections are prevented and treated.

The 13th Social Research Conference on HIV, Viral Hepatitis and Related Diseases, hosted by UNSW’s Centre for Social Research in Health next week (February 20-21), offers an opportunity to think critically about biomedicalisation, the way it challenges our understanding of treatment and prevention, the promises it holds and the extent to which these promises may, or may not, materialise.

Topics to be discussed include:  HIV treatment as prevention in the ‘real world’; rapid HIV testing; the case for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and home-based HIV testing; online hook-ups and sexual risk-taking; young people, harm reduction and Hepatitis C; sex workers as HIV prevention leaders; anti-retroviral drugs and sexual risk-taking.

Keynote speakers and topics:

·         Dr Mark Davis, Monash University - After the clinic: biotechnology and the reinvention of sexual health

·         Professor Deborah Lupton, University of Canberra - The Digital Health Phenomenon: Promises and Limitations

·         Associate Professor Kane Race, University of Sydney - Party and Play: online hook-up devices and the emergence of Party ‘n’ Play practices among gay men

The biennial conference is integral to Australia's efforts in understanding the social and behavioural dynamics of blood borne viral epidemics and sexually transmissible infections. Participants include researchers, health professionals, policy-makers and community members from a range of fields.

What:  13th Social Research Conference on HIV, Viral Hepatitis and Related Diseases

When:  February 20 and 21, 2014

Where: John Niland Scientia Building, UNSW Kensington campus

Read the full program here

Media contact: Fran Strachan, UNSW Media office | 9385 8732 | 0429 416 070

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