Lisa Maher

Lisa Maher
UNSW Sydney | UNSW · Kirby Institute

PhD

About

440
Publications
93,279
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11,141
Citations
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January 2004 - December 2012
UNSW Sydney

Publications

Publications (440)
Article
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Gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (GBM) have developed community norms for regular HIV/STI testing. We investigated factors associated with self-reported COVID-19 testing in response to reported COVID-19 cases and public health restrictions. Participants responded to weekly cohort surveys between 10th May 2021 and 27th September 20...
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Successful use of biomedical forms of HIV risk-reduction may have predisposed many gay and bisexual men (GBM) to vaccination against COVID-19, which may, in turn, affect their sexual behavior. A total of 622 Australian GBM provided weekly data on COVID-19 vaccination history and sexual behaviour between 17 January 2021 and 22 June 2021. We identify...
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Background: This review aimed to identify hepatitis C virus (HCV) prevalence estimates among the general population and six key populations (people who inject drugs, men who have sex with men, sex workers, prisoners/detainees, Indigenous people, and migrants) in the World Health Organization Western Pacific Region (WHO WPR). Methods: Original re...
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Aims: To measure mortality rates and factors associated with mortality risk among participants in the SuperMIX study, a prospective cohort study of people who inject drugs. Design: A prospective observational study using self-reported behavioural and linked mortality data. Setting: Melbourne, Australia. Participants/cases: A total of 1209 pe...
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Background People who inject drugs (PWID) may be at elevated risk of adverse outcomes from SARS-CoV-2 infection; however, data on COVID-19 vaccine uptake among PWID are scarce. This study aimed to determine COVID-19 vaccine uptake among PWID, identify factors associated with sub-optimal uptake, and compare uptake to the general population. Methods...
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Introduction COVID-19 related lockdowns have impacted the sexual activity of gay and bisexual men (GBM). We investigated trends in sexual behaviors and the COVID-19 context in which they occurred (COVID-notification rates and jurisdictional restrictions) to understand changes in the duration and severity of periods of lockdown on the sexual behavio...
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Objectives. To identify key gaps in overdose prevention interventions for mothers who use drugs and the paradoxical impact of institutional practices that can increase overdose risk in the context of punitive drug policies and a toxic drug supply. Methods. Semistructured interviews were conducted with 40 women accessing 2 women-only, low-barrier su...
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Objectives. To identify key gaps in overdose prevention interventions for mothers who use drugs and the paradoxical impact of institutional practices that can increase overdose risk in the context of punitive drug policies and a toxic drug supply. Methods. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 40 women accessing 2 women-only, low-barrier...
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The trajectories of people attempting to reduce harmful methamphetamine use are frequently understood within a binary framework of transitioning between states of health and disease. This framework can often be reinforced by service interactions informed by these dominant narratives of recovery and addiction. In this paper, we draw on a critical in...
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Although many studies reported on decreases in sexual partner numbers among gay and bisexual-identifying men in the early period of the COVID-19 pandemic, few studies have explored COVID-19 risk-reduction strategies. Drawing on free-text responses in an online survey (from April to July 2020), we describe the ways in which men sought to minimise th...
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People who inject drugs may be at higher risk of COVID‐19 transmission and more severe negative health outcomes following COVID‐19 infection. Early research on hypothetical COVID‐19 vaccines suggests this population may be less likely to accept vaccination. This commentary extends this research by presenting vaccine intention data from Illicit Drug...
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Although approximately 31,000 Australian gay and bisexual men (GBM) are eligible for HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), only 18,500 people currently use it, indicating a need to investigate why GBM do not use it. This article uses data from a national, online, observational study. It adopts a mixed-methods analysis to responses to survey question...
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We examined depression and anxiety prior to and during COVID-19 restrictions in Australian gay and bisexual men (GBM). In an online cohort, a COVID-19-focused survey was conducted in April 2020. During 2019 and in April 2020, 664 GBM completed the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9, measuring depression) and Generalized Anxiety Disorder Assessment...
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Introduction Vaccine acceptability is a key determinant of vaccination uptake. Despite being at risk of adverse outcomes from coronavirus-19 disease (COVID-19), COVID-19 vaccine acceptability among people who inject drugs is unknown. We surveyed people who inject drugs in Melbourne, Australia to assess potential uptake of COVID-19 vaccines prior to...
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Background Sexually transmissible infections (STIs), such as gonorrhoea and chlamydia, are highly prevalent, particularly in remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in Australia. In these settings, due to distance to centralised laboratories, the return of laboratory test results can take a week or longer, and many young people do...
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Few studies have examined changes in sexual behaviour following HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) initiation among gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (GBM) in relationships. In a national, online, prospective study of GBM in Australia, we compared sexual behaviours prior to and after PrEP initiation among HIV-negative and unknown-H...
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The perception of being abnormal, and a visceral desire to ‘feel normal again’, is a common feature of the literature on drug use and recovery. Normality is constructed, however, in response to context-dependent values and priorities, which then legitimate certain behaviours as normative and therefore the assumed goal of people in recovery. In this...
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Background: Despite its well documented risks and harms, methamphetamine use can also be experienced as a pleasurable, purposeful, and productive activity. Drug use discourse has historically deemphasised the pleasures of drug use, as they can contradict the expectations of neoliberalism that individuals be moderate, rational consumers. The purpos...
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COVID-19 may threaten the already poor mental health outcomes of Australian gay and bisexual men and cut ties to important social/sexual networks and community. Qualitative research into the experiences of gay and bisexual men during COVID-19 regulations is currently sparse. We report on 489 responses to a qualitative free-text question asking Aust...
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While HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is highly effective, it has arguably disrupted norms of ‘safe sex’ that for many years were synonymous with condom use. This qualitative study explored the culture of PrEP adoption and evolving concepts of ‘safe sex’ in Sydney, Australia, during a period of rapidly escalating access from 2015–2018, drawing...
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The orthodox construction of agency within addiction recovery discourse is built upon a fault line between two conflicting principles: that people who use drugs in harmful ways cannot control their behavior, but that they can also regain that control through intentional effort. The conceptual confusion inherent in this framework can harm people usi...
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Background: Previous research has demonstrated how income-generating activities among marginalized people who use drugs (PWUD)-including employment, income assistance, street-based activities, sex work, and illegal activities-can provide both benefit (e.g., additional income) and harm (e.g., violence, criminalization). However, little is known abo...
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Introduction Female sexual partners of men who inject drugs (MWID) living with HIV are at risk of HIV transmission. HIV prevalence estimates among non-drug using female sex partners of MWID are scarce, with no studies documenting HIV incidence. We investigated HIV prevalence and incidence among female spouses of MWID registered at Nai Zindagi Trust...
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Introduction In 2018, the first Medically Supervised Injecting Room in Melbourne, Australia was officially opened. This study assessed whether this facility attracted people who inject drugs, who were socially vulnerable, and who engaged in drug-related behaviors associated with increased morbidity and mortality risk. Methods This was a cross-sect...
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Background People who inject drugs (PWID) living with HIV have poorer adherence to HIV antiretroviral therapy (ART) and elevated mortality compared to other populations. Little is known about factors associated with adherence among PWID in low-and middle-income countries, including in countries where opioid agonist therapy (OAT) is unavailable. We...
Chapter
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Introduction : Sex workers who use drugs represent two distinct populations, yet programmatic and policy responses are siloed and failed to acknowledge the ways in which populations overlap and needs intersect. Although prevalence of drug use among sex workers is believed to be higher than the general population, no published estimates of global pr...
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Background Non-fatal overdose (NFOD) is a major cause of morbidity among people who inject drugs (PWID) and multiple NFOD is associated with increased risk of fatal overdose. Despite this, few studies have examined the prevalence and correlates of drug-specific multiple NFOD. The current study aimed to determine the prevalence and correlates of rec...
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Background Smoking or inhaling illicit drugs can lead to a variety of negative health outcomes, including overdose. However, most overdose prevention interventions, such as supervised consumption services (SCS), prohibit inhalation. In addition, women are underrepresented at SCS and are disproportionately impacted by socio-structural violence. This...
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Background The recent downward revision of the estimated number of people living with chronic hepatitis C in Australia means that the annual number of new hepatitis C infections should also be revised. We aimed to estimate the annual number of new hepatitis C infections among people who inject drugs (PWID) in Australia in 2015, prior to the introdu...
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Background People who inject drugs (PWID) are at increased risk for HIV and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection and also have high levels of homelessness and unstable housing. We assessed whether homelessness or unstable housing is associated with an increased risk of HIV or HCV acquisition among PWID compared with PWID who are not homeless or are st...
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Background and aims: Major declines in HIV and hepatitis C and B virus (HCV/HBV) incidence among people who inject drugs (PWID) have been attributed to early implementation of harm-reduction programs (HRP) in the Netherlands, but alternative factors such as selective mortality and demographic and drug market shifts over time probably contributed t...
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Female entertainment and sex workers (FESW) have high rates of alcohol and amphetamine-type stimulant (ATS) use, increasing risk for HIV/sexually transmitted infections (STI), and other negative outcomes. A prospective cohort of 1,198 FESW in a HIV/ATS use prevention intervention in Cambodia was assessed for alcohol and stimulant use disorders (AUD...
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The impact of COVID-19 across health services, including treatment services for people who use drugs, is emerging but likely to have a high impact. Treatment services for people who use drugs provide essential treatment services including opiate agonist treatment and needle syringe programmes alongside other important treatment programmes across al...
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Female entertainment and sex workers (FESW) are vulnerable to violence, which impedes safer sex behaviors and increases risk of HIV. FESW are also disproportionately affected by co-occurring psychosocial health conditions, including substance use, depression, and economic insecurity, which increased risk of exposure to violence. We used a syndemic...
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Background: In response to the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, Australia introduced public health and physical distancing restrictions in late March 2020. We investigated the impact of these restrictions on HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) use among Australian gay and bisexual men (GBM). Methods: Participants in an ongoing onli...
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In a context of ongoing colonization and dispossession in Australia, many Aboriginal people live with experiences of health research that is done "on" rather than "with" or "by" them. Recognizing the agency of young people and contributing to Aboriginal self-determination and community control of research, we used a peer research methodology involv...
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Introduction Key populations at elevated risk to contract or transmit HIV may also be at higher risk of COVID‐19 complications and adverse outcomes associated with public health prevention measures. However, the conditions faced by specific populations vary according to social, structural and environmental factors, including stigma and discriminati...
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Background Monitoring the hepatitis C virus (HCV) cascade of care (CoC) among people who inject drugs (PWID) is an essential component of the response to World Health Organisation's (WHO) hepatitis elimination goals. This study aimed to estimate the Consensus hepatitis C CoC among PWID using data collected in Australia prior to and after the introd...
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Background Surveillance data indicate that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people are more likely than their non-Indigenous counterparts to experience sexually transmissible infections (STIs) and teenage pregnancy. Despite increasing emphasis on the need for strengths-based approaches to Aboriginal sexual health, limited published data...
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We report on Australian gay and bisexual men’s (GBM) perceptions of preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP). Drawing on an online longitudinal cohort study, 1,404 free-text responses from HIV-negative or untested Australian GBM were qualitatively analysed. The chi-square statistic was then used to assess differences regarding PrEP-perceptions by participant...
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The original version of this article unfortunately contained an error. The authors would like to correct the error with this erratum.
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Aims To estimate the prevalence of and risk factors associated with concurrent injection of multiple substances (co‐injection) among a community‐recruited cohort of people who inject drugs. Design Cross‐sectional study. Setting Melbourne, Australia. Participants A sample of 720 actively injecting participants from the Melbourne Injecting Drug Us...
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Introduction: In March 2020, Australian state and federal governments introduced physical distancing measures alongside widespread testing to combat COVID-19. These measures may decrease people's sexual contacts and thus reduce the transmission of HIV and other sexually transmissible infections (STIs). We investigated the impact of physical distan...
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Background and objectives: Pre-donation screening of potential blood donors is critical for ensuring the safety of the donor blood supply, and donor deferral as a result of risk factors is practised worldwide. This systematic review was conducted in the context of an expert review convened by the Australian Red Cross Lifeblood in 2013 to consider...
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Background: As research on HIV vaccines continues to advance, studies exploring the feasibility of this intervention are necessary to inform uptake and dissemination strategies with key populations, including people who use drugs (PWUD). Methods: We conducted 25 in-depth qualitative interviews examining HIV vaccine acceptability among PWUD in Va...
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Aims To estimate incidence and predictors of opioid agonist therapy (OAT) discontinuation in a national cohort of people who inject drugs (PWID). Design and Setting Annually repeated cross‐sectional sero‐surveillance among PWID attending ~50 needle syringe programs across Australia. Participants Between 1995‐2018, 2,651 PWID who reported current O...
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Purpose To understand the characteristics of a minority of Australian gay and bisexual men (GBM) who, despite an increase in the number and availability of HIV risk reduction strategies, do not consistently use a strategy to protect themselves from HIV. Methods This analysis is based on data from 2,920 participants in a national, online, prospecti...
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Use of crystal methamphetamine (crystal) among gay and bisexual men (GBM) has been associated with condomless anal intercourse with casual partners (CLAIC) and HIV infection. Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and undetectable viral load (UVL) are important biomedical HIV prevention strategies. We investigate the relationship between crystal use and H...
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BACKGROUND Men who have sex with men in Australia are currently ineligible to donate blood (are “deferred”) for 12 months since last oral or anal sexual contact with another man. In Australia and overseas, there has been limited research on attitudes and perceptions related to blood donation in this population. STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS Questions o...
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Background: Australian surveillance data document higher rates of sexually transmissible infections (STIs) among young Aboriginal people (15-29 years) in remote settings than non-Aboriginal young people. Epidemiological data indicate a substantial number of young Aboriginal people do not test for STIs. Rigorous qualitative research can enhance und...
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Background Attention to how women are differentially impacted within harm reduction environments is salient amidst North America's overdose crisis. Harm reduction interventions are typically ‘gender-neutral’, thus failing to address the systemic and everyday racialized and gendered discrimination, stigma, and violence extending into service setting...
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The Indigenous Resiliency Participatory Action Research (IR PAR) project is one of four components of a collaborative project being conducted by Townsville Aboriginal and Islander Health Service, Derbarl Yerrigan Aboriginal Health Service, Perth, the Aboriginal Medical Service, Redfern and the National Centre in HIV Epidemiology and Clinical Resear...
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Engagement in prevention services is crucial to reducing HIV risk among female entertainment and sex workers (FESW), and SMARTgirl is the national social marketing HIV prevention program for Cambodian women engaged in sex and entertainment work. Informed by the Behavioral Model of Vulnerable Populations, three multivariate logistic regression analy...
Article
Background and objectives: Until recently, people in Australia with a history of injection drug use (IDU) were deferred indefinitely from donating blood. Knowledge gaps regarding policy non-compliance and the prevalence of blood donation practices amongst people who inject drugs (PWID) precluded changes to this policy. We sought to address these g...
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Background and aims: Gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (GBM) use alkyl nitrites ('poppers') at higher rates than other populations to functionally enhance sexual experiences. Their use has been associated with HIV sexual risk behaviours including receptive anal sex. We investigate the prevalence, frequency, and motivations for popp...
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Background: Remote Australian Aboriginal communities have among the highest diagnosed rates of sexually transmissible infections (STIs) in the world. We did a trial to assess whether continuous improvement strategies related to sexual health could reduce infection rates. Methods: In this stepped-wedge, cluster-randomised trial (STIs in remote co...
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Gaps in hepatitis C virus (HCV) testing, diagnosis, liver disease assessment and treatment uptake among people who inject drugs (PWID) persist. We aimed to describe the cascade of HCV care among PWID in Australia, prior to and following unrestricted access to direct‐acting antiviral (DAA) treatment. Participants enrolled in an observational cohort...
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Background and aims: Neutralising antibodies (NAb) play a key role in clearance of hepatitis C virus (HCV). NAbs have been isolated and mapped to several domains on the HCV Envelope proteins. However, the immunodominance of these epitopes in HCV infection remains unknown, hindering vaccine efforts to elicit optimal epitope-specific responses. Furt...
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Background: Many gay and bisexual men (GBM) experience HIV anxiety, particularly around condomless anal intercourse. HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is an effective HIV prevention strategy that may reduce HIV anxiety among GBM. Methods: The Following Lives Undergoing Change (Flux) Study is a national, online, open-prospective observational s...
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Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is one of very few viruses that are either naturally cleared, or alternatively persist to cause chronic disease. Viral diversity and escape, as well as host adaptive immune factors, are believed to control the outcome. To date, there is limited understanding of the critical, early host-pathogen interactions. The asymptomatic...
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Background and aims: Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) are important for evaluating interventions and qualitative research is increasingly recognised as crucial to the success of this enterprise. We aimed to describe and demonstrate a temporal parallel purpose framework to help researchers understand how to make optimum use of qualitative resear...