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Young? HIV Positive? Tell your story.



What is the research about?

Young + Positive is a study that aims to understand how young people (aged 18-29 years old) living with HIV relate to their own health, living with HIV, and to HIV supports and services. We want to know if there are any ways to better support young PLHIV through these experiences. We think this research is important because:


  • There is a gap in services targeting young PLHIV in Australia

  • There is also a gap in the Australian literature about young PLHIV

  • A proportion of young PLHIV have specific needs

  • Adult-centred services may not meet these specific needs

  • All of these factors may impact on the health and wellbeing of young PLHIV


This is a national study. We currently have partnerships with several organisations to help us with the study including:


  • Melbourne Sexual Health Centre (MSHC)

  • Alfred Health

  • Royal Melbourne Hospital (RMH)

  • Sydney Children’s Hospital (SCH)

  • Living Positive Victoria (LPV)

  • Victorian AIDS Council (VAC)

  • AIDS Council of NSW (ACON)

  • The Institute of Many (TIM)

  • Youth Empowerment Against HIV/AIDS (YEAH)


Who is doing this research?

Young + Positive is a PhD study being completed by Lisa Wojciechowski through the University of Melbourne, Department of Social Work.


Lisa Wojciechowski is a social worker who has worked with people living with HIV for several years both in community and hospital services. Through this work, Lisa got interested in this research topic. She noticed that young people tend to experience their diagnosis of HIV differently from older people, and that there aren’t many services targeted at supporting young PLHIV through these experiences.


The research is supervised/overseen by Professor Louise Harms (University of Melbourne), Associate Professor Christy Newman (Centre for Social Research in Health, UNSW Australia) and Dr Allison Carter (Kirby Institute for Infection and Immunity in Society).

The results of this research will be used by the researcher, Lisa Wojciechowski, to obtain a doctorate degree in social work.

Is this research project approved?

The ethical aspects of this research project have been approved by the Human Research Ethics Committees of:


  • Alfred Health

  • University of Melbourne

  • Thorne Harbour Health (formally Victorian AIDS Council)

  • AIDS Council of New South Wales (ACON)

  • Sydney  Children's Hospital

  • Royal Melbourne Hospital


This project will be carried out according to the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research (2007) produced by the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia. This statement has been developed to protect the interests of people who agree to participate in human research studies.


Where can I get more information about this study?

If you have more questions about this study, please feel free to contact the PhD student: Lisa Wojciechowski by contacting us or calling/texting: 0422 991 883.


What if I have concerns or want to make a complaint?

If you have any concerns about how this project is being undertaken that you don’t want to discuss with Lisa or the research team, please feel free to contact: Manager, Human Research Ethics, University of Melbourne, VIC 3010. Tel: (03) 8344 2073. All complaints will be treated confidentially. In any correspondence please provide the name of the research team or the name or ethics ID number of the research project.





The survey asks questions about:


  • Demographics - broad ‘population’ based information like your age, your postcode and your gender

  • Psychosocial characteristics - the social and environmental aspects that impact on you, like housing, income and family

  • Clinical - the medical aspects of your health, like if you take medications, your CD4 count and viral loads (if you know them)

  • Services and supports –how you use these and how much access you might have to them


Survey is now closed


Interviews focus on things like:


  • How you relate to living with HIV

  • How you relate to your health

  • What supports and/ or services you have used

  • What makes it easier or harder to access those services

  • What you think is needed in terms of supporting young people living with HIV


Interviews now closed


While we are currently in the analysis phase of the research, we wrote a short essay about some emerging findings for the Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations (AFAO) publication: 'HIV Australia' which can be found here.

Watch this space for details about results when they become available...


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If you'd like to know more about the Young + Positive study  get in contact with us. Let us know if you'd like us to call or email you in the message section.

Thanks so much for contacting us about young + positive. We'll be in touch soon.

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