New Zealand AIDS Foundation Fellow Dr. Peter Saxton has been awarded the Mid-Career Interdisciplinary Achiever Award by the Australasian Sexual Health Alliance (ASHA).

The award recognizes Dr. Saxton’s very strong commitment to both leadership and to advocacy with significant outcomes achieved for patients and communities within NZ.

Dr. Saxton is also a Director of the Gay Men’s Sexual Health (GMSH) research group at the University of Auckland.

This is the second year ASHA have presented the award at the annual Australasian Sexual Health Conference. Last year it was awarded to Dr. Megan Lim, Senior Research Fellow at the Burnet Institute.

Dr Peter Saxton with his award (Facebook)
Dr Peter Saxton with his award (Facebook)

“Our heartfelt congratulations to Peter. We’re very proud of his contribution to HIV prevention in New Zealand. The Foundation has depended on research to guide our work and prevention efforts,” said Dr. Jason Myers, Executive Director, New Zealand AIDS Foundation.

“Peter has been at the helm of conducting the Gay Auckland Periodic Sex Survey and the Gay Online Sex Survey studies.

These behavioral surveillance studies have been an important source of data to monitor the effectiveness of our HIV prevention messages and to identify the populations most vulnerable to HIV.”

The surveys were orginally carried out every two years and then every three years since 2008.

However, they have not been given priority by the Ministry of Health in 2016.

This essentially leaves organizations working in HIV prevention to fly blind for the time being.

With rising HIV transmissions in the country, more insight and renewed commitment from the government is urgently required with investment in HIV prevention.