Australian Positive & Peers Longevity Evaluation Study (APPLES) Vanguard Study

Date Commenced:
Project Status
Expected Date of Completion:
Project Supporters

Gilead Sciences

Currently recruiting
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About the Project

APPLES aims to investigate whether older gay men living with HIV age differently to gay men without HIV.

In the current era of effective HIV treatments, research suggests that while HIV-positive people are living longer and healthier lives, they appear to be at higher risk of age-related comorbidities compared with HIV negative people.

The important question we are trying to answer is whether being HIV-positive increases the risk of age-related comorbidities. Or are the differences seen between HIV-positive and HIV-negative individuals caused by other factors, such as lifestyle, diet or other health conditions?

If you are interested in taking part in this study please go to the following link


The HIV positive population in Australia is expanding and growing older. The major causes of morbidity and mortality in HIV positive people are now due to age related comorbidities such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, liver and bone disease.

The relative contribution of HIV-infection, antiretroviral treatment and lifestyle factors to the development of these comorbidities in HIV positive people is not known.

The changes in the morbidity profile of ageing HIV people has considerable implications for treatment, as well as policy and planning of health services for these people. These data are needed to develop screening, prevention and advocacy programs for the larger numbers of older HIV positive people in Australia.


To describe the presence of age related comorbidities and risk factors among HIV positive and HIV negative gay men. Specifically to compare HIV positive to HIV negative gay men in terms of rates of dyslipidaemia, hypertension and smoking, and to determine rates of elevated biomarkers of inflammation such as D-dimer and IL6 (among others).

This vanguard study will also provide detailed pilot data and establish feasibility to support a larger ongoing prospective study.

Design & Method

This a cross-sectional cohort study of 450 prospectively recruited HIV positive (N=225) and HIV negative (N=225) gay men over the age of 55 years.

This is a single time-point study with detailed data collection including a self-complete questionnaire, clinical data collection and blood sample collection for biomarker assessment and storage.


By June 2015, 365 participants have been recruited. All HIV positive places have been filled, however recruitment remains open for HIV negative participants.

Project Members
image - 1338340968 Matthew Law.jpg
Professor and Program Head
Ph (02) 93850966
image - 1338426668 Supreet Mehik
Executive Assistant
Ph +61 (0)2 9385 5518
Other Investigators

New South Wales: Dr Don Smith, The Albion Centre, Surry Hills

Dr Eva Jackson, Blue Mountains Sexual Health/HIV Clinic, Katoomba

Dr David Baker, East Sydney Doctors, Darlinghurst

Dr Mark Bloch, Holdsworth House Medical Practice, Darlinghurst

Dr Katherine Brown, Illawarra Sexual Health Service, Wollongong

Dr David Smith, Lismore Sexual Health Service, Lismore

Dr Rick Varma, Nepean Sexual Health Clinic, Penrith/Nepean

Dr Deborah Couldwell, Western Sydney Sexual Health Service, Parramatta

Dr David Templeton, RPA Sexual Health Clinic, Camperdown

Prof Andrew Carr, St Vincent's Hospital, Darlinghurst

Dr Caroline Thng, Sydney Sexual Health Centre, Sydney

Dr Nathan Ryder, Clinic 468, Tamworth Sexual Health, Tamworth

Dr Robert Finlayson, Taylor Square Private Clinic, Surry Hills

Queensland:Dr Darren Russell, Cairns Sexual Health Clinic, Cairns

Dr David Orth, Gladstone Road Medical Practice, Highgate Hill

Victoria:Prof Jenny Hoy, Alfred Hospital, Melbourne

Dr Michelle Giles, Monash Medical Centre, Clayton

Dr Richard Moore, Northside Clinic, North Fitzroy

Dr Norm Roth, Prahran Market Clinic, Prahran

Project Contacts

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