My expertise is in HIV prevention, particularly with gay and bisexual men. I study trends in sexual behaviour, and conduct social and behavioural research on HIV, sexual health and the use of biomedical prevention methods, such as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and HIV treatment as prevention. I use mixed methods to understand community attitudes to and engagement with different prevention methods, drawing on social science theory and critical public health research to understand the complex and unexpected effects that interventions and programs can have. I am currently working with colleagues to assess the community impact of COVID-19.
Fields of Research (FoR)Sociology, Public health, Sociology of health, Health surveillance, Sociology and social studies of science and technology, Infectious diseases
Professor Martin Holt specialises in HIV prevention research with gay and bisexual men. A social scientist by training, he has worked at the Centre for Social Research in Health since 2003. Over the last 10 years he has researched the impact of new forms of HIV prevention, particularly pre-exposure prophylaxis and treatment as prevention, on community norms, attitudes and practices. He is currently working with colleagues to assess the impact...view more
Professor Martin Holt specialises in HIV prevention research with gay and bisexual men. A social scientist by training, he has worked at the Centre for Social Research in Health since 2003. Over the last 10 years he has researched the impact of new forms of HIV prevention, particularly pre-exposure prophylaxis and treatment as prevention, on community norms, attitudes and practices. He is currently working with colleagues to assess the impact of COVID-19 on the communities with whom we work.
Martin leads the Gay Community Periodic Surveys, the main part of Australia's behavioural surveillance system for HIV, supported by federal and state/territory health funding and NHMRC Partnership Project funding (2021-26). He also leads a long term study of the social aspects of biomedical HIV prevention for gay and bisexual men (the PrEPARE project). He is a chief investigator on a range of other projects, including:
- Asia Pacific MSM Internet Survey, led by A/Prof Adam Bourne
- Evidence-making and implementing interventions in a viral elimination era, ARC Discovery Project led by Dr Kari Lancaster
- Following Lives Undergoing Change (FLUX) study, led by A/Prof Garrett Prestage
- Networks in Flux: Examining how sector relationships adapt to rapid change, ARC Discovery Project led by A/Prof Graham Brown
- PrEP in Practice: clinician perspectives on providing PrEP in Australia (PhD researcher Anthony Smith)
- Trust in Digital Health Survey, led by A/Prof Christy Newman
Martin is actively involved with the HIV sector, gay community organisations, and professional societies. In 2013 he became a Deputy Editor of the Journal of the International AIDS Society and in 2018 an Associate Editor of AIDS and Behavior.
BSc (Hons) in Psychology, University of Birmingham
MSc in Social Psychology, London School of Economics and Political Science
PhD in Psychology, University of Birmingham
Fellow (elected), Royal Society of New South Wales, 2019.
Australia Awards Endeavour Executive Fellowship, 2015.
Dean's Award for Social Research Impact, 2014 (jointly awarded to Gay Community Periodic Survey team).
My Research Supervision
Areas of supervision
I am available to supervise postgraduate research in the following areas:
- HIV prevention, particularly with gay and bisexual men
- social and behavioural research on HIV, sexual behaviour and relationships
- understanding and use of biomedical prevention methods, such as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and HIV treatment as prevention
- understanding and use of technology (such as new media or biomedical technology) by HIV-affected communities
Johann Kolstee, How are changing knowledge, attitudes and beliefs about risk reduction strategies affecting the sexual behaviour of GBM in Australia?
James MacGibbon, Adaptation to and incorporation of HIV PrEP by Australian gay men in relationships.
Anthony Smith, PrEP in practice: clinical perspectives on prescribing PrEP in Australia
Brandon Bear, Identifying salutogenic behaviour in sexuality and gender diverse communities
Curtis Chan, Identifying characteristics of men who have sex with men at high risk of HIV infection not reached by gay community-focused public health messaging
Academy Member, Association for the Social Sciences and Humanities in HIV
Associate Member, Australasian Society for HIV Medicine
Member, International AIDS Society
Member, The Australian Sociological Association
Deputy Editor, Journal of the International AIDS Society
Associate Editor, AIDS and Behavior
Kirby Institute Seminar Series – 13 July 2021
This presentation considers how HIV behavioural surveillance was adapted to COVID-19 in Australia, and the impacts of COVID-19 on gay and bisexual men’s practices in different jurisdictions. We also consider how social and geographic disparities in HIV risk, the uptake of testing and use of effective prevention methods may have been accentuated by COVID-19.