Opposites Attract: The Study of Relationships Between HIV Positive and Negative Gay Men

Date Commenced:
Recruitment commencing in early 2012
Project Status
Expected Date of Completion:
Recruitment ongoing until June 2015; follow-up until December 2015
Project Supporters

NHMRC Project Grant

Currently recruiting
image - Opposites Attract284x284

About the Project


International research has demonstrated that effective antiretroviral therapy can substantially decrease the risk of HIV transmission in heterosexual serodiscordant couples. This study explores the effectiveness of “treatment as prevention” in gay male serodiscordant couples.


To determine if HIV incidence in HIV negative men in serodiscordant relationships is associated with whether the HIV positive partner is on antiretroviral therapy, and to explore the extent to which HIV viral load is used in negotiating unprotected sex within serodiscordant couples.

Design & Method

Prospective cohort study of gay male serodiscordant couples. Results of HIV viral load tests and CD4 counts (in HIV positive partners) and HIV antibody tests (in HIV negative partners) are recorded at up to four clinic visits per year. At each visit, questionnaires are completed concerning sexual behaviour, attitudes, knowledge, treatments, and communication. A subsample of HIV positive men participate in a Semen Sub-Study tracking HIV viral load in semen.  


The study starts recruitment in early 2012.


The Opposites Attract Study will provide globally unique data on the role of HIV antiretroviral treatments in preventing HIV transmission in gay male serodiscordant couples.

Project Members
image - Andrew Grulich2015
Professor and Program Head
Ph +61 (2) 9385 0956
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Senior Research Fellow
Ph +61 (0)2 9385 0951
image - 1338427439 Jeff Jin
Senior Lecturer
Ph +61 (0)2 9385 0900
image - Grey 2222
Associate Lecturer
Ph +61 (0)2 9385 0900
image - 1338427902 Lara Cassar.jpg
Research Assistant
Ph +61 (0)2 9385 0900
image - David Wilson 1
Conjoint Associate Professor
Ph +61 (0)2 9385 0900
image - 1338436367 Sean Emery.jpg
Professor Sean Emery
Professor and Program Head
Other Investigators

NEED STAFF # - Anthony Kelleher, Kersten Koelsch, Christopher Fairley, Kathy Triffitt, Kate Merlin

Jennifer Hoy, Darren Russell, Ban Kiem Tee, Nick Doong, David Baker, Robert McFarlane, David Orth, Mark Bloch, Richard Moore, William Donohue, Norm Roth, David Templeton, Anna McNulty, Emanuel Vlahakis

Project Collaborators: External

The Alfred Hospital

Cairns Sexual Health Service

Centre Clinic

Dr Doong’s Surgery

East Sydney Doctors

Gladstone Road Medical Centre

Holdsworth House Medical Practice

Melbourne Sexual Health Centre

Northside Clinic

O’Brien Street General Practice

Prahran Market Clinic

Royal Prince Alfred Hospital

St Vincent’s Hospital Immunology B Ambulatory Clinic

Sydney Sexual Health Centre

Taylor Square Private Clinic

Project Contacts

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