In low and middle income countries, women and girls are confronted with significant barriers to having their basic health needs met.
In these countries, women die from preventable pregnancy and childbirth-related complications. In many cases, access to contraception is limited or non-existent, and inequitable gender norms impact the ability for women to seek testing or care for sexually transmissible infections. Globally, HIV is the leading cause of death among women of reproductive age.
We are working with women in low and middle income countries, particularly in the Pacific region, to design interventions to increase testing and treatment for infectious diseases that can cause major problems for women and children during pregnancy and childbirth.
In Papua New Guinea, where women have to travel long distances to access services, we are conducting research to determine whether testing and immediate treatment for sexually transmitted and genital infections at the time and place of care can improve birth outcomes in high burden, low-income settings.
In Papua New Guinea we are also working with women to identify new ‘test and treat’ strategies delivered at the clinic for the early detection and treatment of cervical cancer. We are using newly available technologies that allow us to test for human papillomavirus (HPV) infection (the cause of cervical cancer) in routine clinic settings. Cervical cancer is the most common cancer among women in PNG and is a leading cause of premature death.
Our Australian-focused research explores the unique experiences and appropriate interventions for women within other at risk populations, like female sex workers or women who inject drugs.
Our programs that work in this area:
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health
- Biostatistics and Databases
- Public Health Interventions
- Sexual Health
- Surveillance and Evaluation
- Viral Hepatitis Epidemiology and Prevention