Across the full spectrum of research disciplines at the Kirby Institute, our researchers work alongside Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community-controlled health organisations and government agencies that service Aboriginal communities to identify, develop and evaluate culturally appropriate interventions to prevent and treat infectious disease.
Many infectious diseases impact Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples at higher rates than non-Indigenous Australians, particularly in rural and remote communities, which face particular barriers to health access. At the Kirby Institute, we work in close collaboration with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health services and community leaders on solutions for key health issues. We support the principle of self-determination for the development and delivery of health solutions for these communities.
- Through partnership, our research has successfully introduced ‘point-of-care’ testing systems for chlamydia and gonorrhoea to remote Aboriginal communities. This innovative testing program has also been used for on-the-spot testing for SARS-CoV-2 in remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. This program ensures that a positive case of COVID-19 can be quickly identified and contacts isolated.
- We work with health services to better understand the sexual health experiences and support needs of young Aboriginal people, to develop effective ways to improve sexual health and wellbeing.
- We partner with other research organisations in the Centre for Research Excellence in Aboriginal Sexual Health and Blood-Borne Viruses, and lead the National Trachoma Surveillance and Reporting Unit (NTSRU) which is responsible for tracking the impact of Australia’s strategies to eliminate trachoma, a treatable infectious disease which causes blindness, from remote communities.
Programs working in this area:
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Program
- Biosecurity Program
- Biostatistics and Databases Program
- Global Health Program
- HIV Epidemiology and Prevention Program
- Immunovirology and Pathogenesis Program
- Infection Analytics Program
- Sexual Health Program
- Surveillance and Evaluation Research Program
- Therapeutic and Vaccine Research Program
- Viral Hepatitis Clinical Research Program
- Viral Hepatitis Epidemiology and Prevention Program
- Viral Immunology Systems Program