Congratulations to the Kirby Institute’s Dr Benjamin Bavinton, who was awarded the 2019 Aileen Plant Memorial Prize in Infectious Diseases Epidemiology last night at the Communicable Diseases Control Conference taking place in Canberra.
Dr Bavinton was awarded the prestigious prize for his first-author paper titled ‘Viral suppression and HIV transmission in serodiscordant male couples: an international, prospective, observational, cohort study’, which was published in Lancet HIV last year. The paper communicates the results from the Kirby Institute-led Opposites Attract Study, which was one of only two studies globally to investigate HIV transmission risk among homosexual male couples with differing HIV status. The results demonstrated that when the HIV-positive partner is on daily antiretroviral therapy (ART) and has an undetectable viral load, the risk of sexual transmission to the HIV-negative partner is effectively zero.
The paper gained significant attention internationally, forming a substantial part of the evidence to support HIV treatment as prevention as a way of driving down HIV transmissions, which is the basis of the international U=U (Undetectable=Untransmittable) campaign.
The Aileen Plant Memorial Prize is awarded annually for a first author paper by an Australian researcher, published in the previous calendar year in a peer-reviewed medical journal in the area of infectious diseases epidemiology.
We congratulate Dr Bavinton on this outstanding recognition.