Peter Weatherburn

Peter Weatherburn
London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine | LSHTM · Public Health Environments & Society

BA (Hons), MSc, FHEA

About

269
Publications
36,010
Reads
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5,442
Citations
Citations since 2016
114 Research Items
3564 Citations
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20162017201820192020202120220100200300400500600
20162017201820192020202120220100200300400500600
20162017201820192020202120220100200300400500600
Introduction
Peter Weatherburn has been the Director of Sigma Research since 1997, and has worked in sexual health research since 1988. As Director of Sigma Research he manages most of Sigma Research’s research and development programmes. He has developed and expanded the units research and development programme, and identified, specified and managed more than 80 new research and evaluation projects, with an income of more than £9,600,000. He is an Associate Professor in Health Promotion at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, where he is the Stream Advisor for Health Promotion on the MSc in Public Health.
Additional affiliations
August 2016 - October 2020
London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
Position
  • Managing Director
February 2011 - July 2016
London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
Position
  • Lecturer
July 1997 - January 2011
University of Portsmouth
Position
  • Principal Lecturer

Publications

Publications (269)
Article
Background: 'Chemsex' refers to the combining of sex and illicit drugs, typically mephedrone, GHB/GBL, and crystal methamphetamine. While numerous studies have examined the role of illicit drugs in sexual risk taking, less attention has been paid to the broader social context and structures of their use among gay men. Given their established role...
Article
Objectives There is considerable public health concern about the combining of sex and illicit drugs (chemsex) among gay men. With a view to inform supportive therapeutic and clinical interventions, we sought to examine the motivations for engaging in chemsex among gay men living in South London. Methods Community advertising recruited 30 gay men f...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction: Innovative strategies, such as HIV self-testing (HIVST), could increase HIV testing rates and diagnosis. Evidence to inform the design of an HIVST intervention in the UK is scarce with very little European data on this topic. This study aims to understand values and preferences for HIVST interventions targeting MSM in the UK. We expl...
Article
Chemsex is a colloquial term used by gay men in some parts of the UK to describe the use of psychoactive substances (typically mephedrone, GHB/GBL or crystal methamphetamine) during sex. Use of these drugs by gay men in London appears to have risen sharply from relatively low levels and, as yet, there is little data to inform appropriate harm reduc...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives The British HIV Association's (BHIVA) testing guidelines recommend men who have sex with men (MSM) test annually or more frequently if ongoing risk is present. We identify which groups of MSM in England are less likely to have tested for HIV and their preferences for future tests by testing model, in order to inform health promotion prog...
Article
Full-text available
Background Sexual minority men are at greater risk of depression and suicidality than heterosexuals. Stigma, the most frequently hypothesized risk factor for this disparity, operates across socioecological levels-structural (e.g., laws), interpersonal (e.g., discrimination), and individual (e.g., self-stigma). However, there is limited data on whet...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction: The population of men-who-have-sex-with-men (MSM) includes people who are on the masculine spectrum but were assigned female at birth (AFAB), that is trans MSM. This study aims to identify current circumstances regarding sexual happiness and safety among German trans MSM. To date, there is no health information about trans MSM in Ger...
Article
Full-text available
Background Despite being vaccine-preventable, hepatitis A virus (HAV) outbreaks occur among men who have sex with men (MSM). We modelled the cost-effectiveness of vaccination strategies to prevent future outbreaks. Methods A HAV transmission model was calibrated to HAV outbreak data for MSM in England over 2016-2018, producing estimates for the ba...
Article
Full-text available
Background HIV self-testing (HIVST) could play an important role in improving access to testing and therefore reducing inequalities related to late diagnosis of HIV, while also improving access to HIV prevention interventions such as HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis. This study sought to understand the potential role of HIVST by exploring the experienc...
Article
Background Men who have sex with men experience disproportionately high levels of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs), sexual risk behavior, substance use, and mental ill-health. These experiences are interrelated, and these interrelations are potentiated by structural conditions of discrimination, stigma, and unequal access to app...
Article
Full-text available
Background To provide empirically based guidance for substituting partner number categories in large MSM surveys with mean numbers of sexual and condomless anal intercourse (CAI) partners in a secondary analysis of survey data. Methods We collated data on numbers of sexual and CAI partners reported in a continuous scale (write-in number) in thirte...
Article
Background Human immunodeficiency virus/sexually transmitted infections, sexual risk, substance (alcohol and other legal and illegal drugs) use and mental ill health constitute a ‘syndemic’ of mutually reinforcing epidemics among men who have sex with men. Electronic health (e-health) interventions addressing these epidemics among men who have sex...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives The study aimed to estimate the prevalence of, and associations, with HIV and metrics of HIV care engagement in a representative population of gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (GBMSM) and transgender persons (TP) who have sex with men (GBMSM/TP) Setting Urban districts of Nairobi, Kenya. Design Cross-sectional. Partic...
Article
Background Alcohol consumption is a major public health concern in Ireland. Alcohol use disorder (AUD) appears to disproportionately affect men who have sex with men (MSM). However, little is known about the prevalence of AUD in this group in Ireland specifically, and the characteristics of MSM who may struggle with this. Methods The European MSM...
Article
Introduction Loneliness is prevalent and associated with negative health outcomes in young people. Our understanding of how it can be best addressed is limited. This systematic review aims to assess the acceptability and effectiveness of interventions to reduce and prevent loneliness and social isolation in young people. Methods Six bibliographic...
Article
Men who have sex with men (MSM) in Kenya bear a heavy burden of HIV/STIs and are a priority population in the national HIV/AIDS response, yet remain criminalised and stigmatised within society. HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) offers an opportunity to significantly impact the HIV epidemic, as does the concept of U = U, whereby those who are livi...
Article
Sexual minority men are at greater risk of depression and suicidality than heterosexuals. Stigma, the most frequently hypothesized risk factor for this disparity, operates across socioecological levels-structural (e.g., laws), interpersonal (e.g., discrimination), and individual (e.g., self-stigma). Although the literature on stigma and mental heal...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives The first UK national lockdown began on 23 March 2020, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and led to reduced STI/HIV service provision in the UK. We investigated sexual behaviour, use and need for sexual healthcare during the pandemic. Methods Participants (N=2018), including men (cis/transgender), transwomen and gender-diverse peopl...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Sexually transmitted infections: promoting the sexual health and wellbeing of gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men From research to public health practice: an evidence-based resource for commissioners, providers and voluntary sector organisations STIs: promoting the sexual health and wellbeing of gay, bisexual and other men who have se...
Conference Paper
Background Alcohol consumption is a major public health concern in Ireland. Alcohol use disorder (AUD) disproportionately affects men who have sex with men (MSM). However, little is known about the prevalence of AUD in this group in Ireland specifically, and the characteristics of MSM who may struggle with this. Methods The European MSM Internet S...
Article
Full-text available
Background We updated a 2017 systematic review and compared the effects of HIV self-testing (HIVST) to standard HIV testing services to understand effective service delivery models among the general population. Methods We included randomized controlled trials (RCTs) comparing testing outcomes with HIVST to standard testing in the general populatio...
Conference Paper
Background The introduction of social distancing in response to the COVID-19 pandemic led to reduced STI/HIV service provision in the UK. We investigated sexual risk behaviours among MSM and unmet need for sexual healthcare during the pandemic. Methods A cross-sectional online survey (N=2,018) fielded via social media and dating apps (23/06–14/07/...
Article
Full-text available
Background Transgender, or trans, people experience a number of barriers to accessing gender-affirming healthcare and have a range of barriers and facilitators to primary care and specialist services, commonly citing discrimination and cisgenderism playing a central role in shaping accessibility. The pathway through primary care to specialist servi...
Article
Full-text available
Background Alcohol consumption is a major public health concern in Ireland. Alcohol use disorder (AUD) disproportionately affects men who have sex with men (MSM). However, little is known about the prevalence of AUD in this group in Ireland specifically, and the characteristics of MSM who may struggle with this. Methods The European MSM Internet S...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Men who have sex with men (MSM) face disproportionate risks concerning HIV and other sexually transmitted infections, substance use, and mental health. These outcomes constitute an interacting syndemic among MSM; interventions addressing all 3 together could have multiplicative effects. eHealth interventions can be accessed privately,...
Article
Full-text available
Modelling suggests hepatitis C virus (HCV) elimination is possible among men‐who‐have‐sex‐with‐men (MSM), with key screening groups including HIV‐diagnosed MSM and MSM using pre‐exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). Mathematical modelling was used to determine the cost‐effectiveness of HCV case‐finding strategies among MSM from the provider perspective, and...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Globally, trans people are disproportionately affected by HIV, but research on strategies to increase testing are limited. SELPHI is a randomised-controlled-trial (RCT) of 10,135 cis men, trans men, and trans women reporting lifetime anal intercourse with male partners (cis or trans), evaluating whether the offer of free HIV self-testi...
Article
Background Transgender people are disproportionately affected by HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) worldwide, and culturally competent prevention and treatment services are often unavailable or inaccessible. Despite recent improvements in national HIV responses for many key populations in east Africa, evidence of effective respon...
Article
Introduction In the last decade diagnoses of most STIs have risen among men who have sex with men (MSM). Although a significant proportion of this is likely due to increased STI screening, understanding the role of behavioural drivers remains critical. We measure the associations between stimulant use to enhance and prolong sexual experiences (chem...
Article
Full-text available
Background Sexual risk, substance use, and mental ill health constitute a syndemic of co-occurring, mutually reinforcing epidemics amongst men who have sex with men (MSM). Developed since 1995, e-health interventions offer accessible, anonymous support and can be effective in addressing these outcomes, suggesting the potential value of developing e...
Preprint
BACKGROUND Men who have sex with men experience disproportionately high levels of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs), sexual risk behavior, substance use, and mental ill-health. These experiences are interrelated, and these interrelations are potentiated by structural conditions of discrimination, stigma, and unequal access to app...
Article
Full-text available
Background We update a previous systematic review to inform new World Health Organization HIV self-testing (HIVST) recommendations. We compared the effects of HIVST to standard HIV testing services to understand which service delivery models are effective for key populations. Methods We did a systematic review of randomised controlled trials (RCTs...
Article
Full-text available
Men-who-have-sex-with-men (MSM) carry a disproportionate burden of sexually transmitted infections across Europe. Health planners require sexual health needs assessment data to respond appropriately. In addition, surveillance of risk and precaution behaviours in this population enables evaluative judgements of policy responses. The European MSM Int...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives Rectal STIs compromise health and are common in men who have sex with men (MSM). However, the European-MSM-Internet-Survey (EMIS-2010) showed that in 2010, the prevalence of anal swabbing during STI screening by MSM varied widely across 40 European cities. In this paper, we replicate a variety of measures of STI testing performance using...
Article
Full-text available
Some men who have sex with men (MSM) were assigned female at birth (AFB) and/or identify as trans men. Little is known about how these men differ from other MSM. We compared sexual and mental health indicators from the European MSM Internet Survey (EMIS-2017), comparing men AFB and/or currently identifying as trans men with those assigned male at b...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction: There is little published literature about gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men and transgender individuals (MSM and TG)'s use of social media in sub-Saharan Africa, despite repressive social and/or criminalizing contexts that limit access to physical HIV prevention. We sought to describe MSM and TG's online socializing...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives We report the frequency of previous HIV testing at baseline in men who have sex with men (MSM) who enrolled in an HIV self‐testing (HIVST) randomized controlled trial [an HIV self‐testing public health intervention (SELPHI)]. Methods Criteria for enrolment were age ≥ 16 years, being a man (including trans men) who ever had anal intercou...
Preprint
BACKGROUND Men who have sex with men (MSM) face disproportionate risks in relation to HIV and other sexually transmitted infections, substance use and common mental illnesses. Interacting to worsen overall health, these outcomes constitute a syndemic among MSM and interventions addressing all three together could have multiplicative effects. E-heal...
Poster
BACKGROUND: Men-who-have-sex-with-men (MSM) are the subpopulation at greatest risk of HIV in Europe. HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) has great potential to interrupt transmission. Prevention cascades have been proposed to focus primary HIV prevention programmes on the most commonly unmet needs. We constructed a PrEP cascade for MSM and compared...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction: Men who have sex with men and transgender individuals (MSM/TG) carry a disproportionately high burden of HIV, including in South Africa. However, there are few empirical population-representative estimates of viral suppression and the HIV care cascade including HIV testing among this population, nor of factors associated with these o...
Article
Full-text available
We describe a pilot project designed to assess the feasibility of re-use across 12 diverse qualitative datasets related to Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) in the UK, from research projects undertaken between 1997 and 2013 – an approach which is chronically underused. First, we consider the sweeping biomedical changes and imperatives relating to...
Article
Full-text available
Background Chemsex, the use of select psychoactive drugs to enhance sexual experience, typically among men who have sex with men (MSM), is associated with sexual behaviours with higher STI risk. Understanding patterns of chemsex among MSM as well as the characteristics and sexual health service engagement of chemsex participants is important for de...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Partner concurrency, (having sexual partnerships overlapping in time), especially when condoms are not used, can facilitate sexually transmitted infections (STI) transmission. In Britain, STI diagnoses rates and the reporting of concurrency are higher among black Caribbeans than other ethnic groups. We explored attitudes towards, drive...
Article
Full-text available
SELPHI involves two interventions: (A) It provides one HIV self-testing (HIVST) kit; (B) It offers 3-monthly repeat HIVST kits if participants report ongoing risk. A logic model underpinned by the Behaviour Change Wheel informed the design of the intervention. SELPHI recruited 10,135 cis-men and trans people in England and Wales, all reporting anal...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives: SELPHI (HIV Self-Testing Public Health Intervention) is the largest randomized controlled trial (RCT) of HIV self-testing (HIVST) in a high-income setting to date, and has recruited 10 000 men who have sex with men (cis- and transgender) and transgender women who have sex with men. This qualitative substudy aimed to explore how those u...
Article
Full-text available
Background Routine HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and HIV care appointments provide opportunities for screening men who have sex with men (MSM) for hepatitis C virus infection (HCV). However, levels of screening required for achieving the WHO elimination target of reducing HCV incidence by 90% by 2030 among all MSM are unknown. Methods An HCV...
Article
Full-text available
In 2019, only 14 European and Central Asian countries provided reimbursed HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). Using EMIS-2017 data, we present the differ-ence between self-reported use and expressed need for PrEP in individual countries and the European Union (EU). We estimate that 500,000 men who have sex with men in the EU cannot access PrEP, al...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Increasing rates of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in men-who-have-sex-with-men (MSM) in England is a pressing public health concern. Interventions targeting MSM, including information provision that effectively promotes sexual health, are needed. To support such intervention development, it is necessary to understand acceptabl...