|Dr Cornelisse accepting his award|
Dr Cornelisse's research focussed on the prevention of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.
Populations affected by HIV are the same populations affected by bacterial sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including chlamydia, gonorrhoea and syphilis. His research seeks to find and evaluate new strategies to prevent the transmission of HIV and STIs.
As part of this research, he's validated the use of HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) eligibility criteria, which provided important information for the Australian PrEP clinical guidelines.
Working with Melbourne Sexual Health Centre, Dr Cornelisse investigated the epidemiology of gonorrhoea and chlamydia, to clarify the role of throat gonorrhoea in transmission to sexual partners. His research indicated that gonorrhoea is commonly transmitted by tongue kissing, and hence that we need new gonorrhoea prevention strategies, as condoms cannot prevent transmission by kissing. He then showed that antiseptic throat gargle is an acceptable and usable intervention to prevent gonorrhoea of the throat.
The research team is now conducting a large trial to assess whether the use of antiseptic throat gargle is effective at preventing throat gonorrhoea. If this proves to be effective, it may provide a new strategy to prevent the transmission of this increasingly common infection.