Sexual Health

In the last two decades sexual health has been a major public health priority across the world, primarily because of rising sexually transmitted infections, HIV, and unwanted pregnancies. In developed countries certain groups suffer much worse sexual health, especially men who have sex with men, particular ethnic minorities and socially excluded young people. The aim of the Sexual Health Programme is to further the prevention of sexual ill health by understanding the determinants of sexual risk. The majority of the projects are exploratory or involve analysis of existing data to enable development of future interventions.

The Sexual Health Programme’s objectives are to:
• Understand the social and behavioural factors associated with sexual risk and ill health
• Investigate different methods of conducting research and the role of new technologies (e.g. mobile phone apps) in sexual ill health prevention
• Develop and evaluate new ways of improving sexual health

The Programme has three themes: HIV prevention with vulnerable populations, alternative research methodologies, and sexual health inequalities.

Sexual Health Team

The Sexual Health team, from left to right: Susan, Lisa, Matt, Carrie, Ingrid and Nicola.

Publications

2016

McDaid LM, Aghaizu A, Frankis J, Riddell J, Nardone A, Mercey D, Johnson AM, Hart GJ, Flowers P. Frequency of HIV testing among gay and bisexual men in the UK: implications for HIV prevention. HIV medicine 2016;17:683-93

open access  

Mitchell KR, Geary R, Graham C, Clifton S, Mercer CH, Lewis R, Macdowall W, Datta J, Johnson AM, Wellings K. Sexual function in 16 to 21 year olds in Britain. Journal of Adolescent Health 2016;59:422–428

open access  

Purcell P, Cameron S, Lawton J, Glasier A, Harden J. The changing body work of abortion: a qualitative study of the experiences of health professionals. Sociology of Health and Illness 2016;[epub ahead of print]

open access  

Young I, Flowers P, McDaid L. Can a pill prevent HIV? Negotiating the biomedicalisation of HIV prevention. Sociology of Health and Illness 2016;38:411-25

open access  

2015

Boydell N, Fergie G, McDaid L, Hilton S. Understandings of participation in behavioural research: a qualitative study of gay and bisexual men in Scotland. PLoS One 2015;10: e0135001

open access  

Patterson C, McDaid LM, Hilton S. Gay and bisexual men’s perceptions of the donation and use of human biological samples for research: a qualitative study. PLoS One 2015;10:e0129924

open access  

Wellings K, Brima N, Sadler K, Copas A, McDaid L, Mercer C, McManus S, Stephenson J, Glasier A. Stopping and switching contraceptive methods: findings from Contessa, a prospective longitudinal study of women of reproductive age in England. Contraception 2015;91:57-66

open access  

Young I, Flowers P, McDaid L. Key factors in the acceptability of Treatment as Prevention (TasP) in Scotland: a qualitative study with communities affected by HIV. BMJ Sexually Transmitted Infections 2015;91:269-74

open access  

2014

Boydell N, Fergie GM, McDaid L, Hilton S. Avoiding pitfalls and realising opportunities: reflecting on issues of sampling and recruitment for online focus groups. International Journal of Qualitative Methods 2014;13:206-223

open access  

Boydell Nicola. Personal communities and safer sex: qualitative study of young gay and bisexual men in Scotland [PhD], MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit, University of Glasgow 2014.

Knussen C, Flowers P, McDaid L. Factors associated with recency of HIV testing amongst men residing in Scotland who have sex with men. AIDS Care 2014;26:297-303

pubmed  

Li J, McDaid L. Alcohol and drug use during unprotected anal intercourse among gay and bisexual men in Scotland: what are the implications for HIV prevention?. Sexually Transmitted Infections 2014;90:125-132

open access  

Lohan M, Aventin Á, Maguire L, Clarke M, Linden M, McDaid L. Feasibility trial of a film-based educational intervention for increasing boys’ and girls’ intentions to avoid teenage pregnancy: study protocol. International Journal of Educational Research 2014;68:35-45

open access  

Lorimer K, Martin S, McDaid LM. The views of general practitioners and practice nurses towards the barriers and facilitators of proactive, Internet-based Chlamydia screening for reaching young heterosexual men. BMC Family Practice 2014;15:127

open access  

Martin S, McDaid LM, Hilton S. Double-standards in reporting of risk and responsibility for sexual health: a qualitative content analysis of negatively toned UK newsprint articles. BMC Public Health 2014;14:792

open access  

Purcell C, Cameron S, Caird L, Flett G, Laird G, Melville C, McDaid LM. Access to and experience of later abortion: accounts from women in Scotland. Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health 2014;46:101–108

open access  

Purcell C, Hilton S, McDaid LM. The stigmatisation of abortion: a qualitative analysis of print media in Great Britain in 2010. Culture, Health & Sexuality 2014;16:1141-55

open access  

Wallace L, Li J, McDaid LM. HIV prevalence and undiagnosed infection among a community sample of gay and bisexual men in Scotland, 2005-2011: implications for HIV testing policy and prevention. PLoS One 2014;9:90805

open access  

Young I, Flowers P, McDaid L. Barriers to uptake and use of Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) amongst communities most affected by HIV in the UK: findings from a qualitative study in Scotland. BMJ Open 2014;4:e005717

open access  

Young I, McDaid L. How acceptable are antiretrovirals for the prevention of sexually transmitted HIV? A review of research on the acceptability of oral pre-exposure prophylaxis and treatment as prevention. AIDS & Behavior 2014;18:195-216

open access  

2013

Flowers P, Knussen C, McDaid L. Has testing been normalized? An analysis of changes in barriers to HIV testing among men who have sex with men between 2000 and 2010 in Scotland, UK. HIV Medicine 2013;14:92-8

pubmed  open access  

Flowers P, McDaid LM, Knussen C. Exposure and impact of a mass media campaign targeting sexual health amongst Scottish men who have sex with men: an outcome evaluation. BMC Public Health 2013;13:737

open access  

Lorimer K, McDaid L. Young men’s views towards the barriers and facilitators of Internet-based Chlamydia trachomatis screening: a qualitative study. Journal of Medical Internet Research 2013;15:e265

open access  

Martin S, Hilton S, McDaid LM. United Kingdom newsprint media reporting on sexual health and blood-borne viruses in 2010. Sexual Health 2013;10:546-552

open access  

McDaid L, Docherty S, Winter A. Review of the National Sexual Health IT System (NaSH) in Scotland: the potential for sexual health research. MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit Occasional paper no. 24, Glasgow, 2013

open access  

McDaid LM, Li J, Knussen C, Flowers P. Sexually transmitted infection testing and self-reported diagnoses among a community sample of men who have sex with men in Scotland. Sexually Transmitted Infections 2013;89:223-230

open access  

Young I, Li J, McDaid L. Awareness and willingness to use HIV Pre-exposure Prophylaxis amongst gay and bisexual men in Scotland: implications for biomedical HIV prevention. PLoS One 2013;8:e64038

open access  

2012

Flowers P, Knussen C, Li J, McDaid L M. Make Your Position Clear: report 2. Glasgow, 2012

McDaid L, Ross G, Young I. Men, deprivation and sexual health: scoping review. MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit Occasional Paper 22, Glasgow, 2012

open access  

McDaid LM, Hart GJ. Serosorting and strategic positioning during unprotected anal intercourse: are risk reduction strategies being employed by gay and bisexual men in Scotland?. Sexually Transmitted Diseases 2012;39:735-738

pubmed  

McDaid LM, Hart GJ. Willingness to participate in future HIV prevention studies among gay and bisexual men in Scotland, UK: a challenge for intervention trials. AIDS & Behavior 2012;16:1420-1429

pubmed  open access  

2011

Boydell-Wright N. 'On Scene’- a qualitative study exploring gay ‘scene’ and ‘scene space' [MSc], MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit, University of Glasgow 2011.

Flowers P, Knussen C, McDaid L. The impact of Make Your Position Clear (MYPC) campaign on gay and bisexual men’s sexual health and behaviour in the West of Scotland: a scene-based outcome evaluation. Glasgow, 2011

Hartley J. Do media portrayals of drinking and sexual/romantic relationships shape constructions of gendered identities among teenagers? [PhD], MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit, University of Glasgow 2011.

open access  

Knussen C, Flowers P, McDaid L M, Hart GJ. HIV-related sexual risk behaviour between 1996 and 2008, according to age, among men who have sex with men (Scotland). Sexually Transmitted Infections 2011;87:257-9

pubmed  open access  

McDaid LM, Hart G. Increased HIV testing and reduced undiagnosed infection among gay men in Scotland, 2005-2008: support for the opt-out testing policy?. Sexually Transmitted Infections 2011;87:221-4

pubmed  open access  

Sadler K, Wellings K, Glasier A, Mercer C, McDaid L, Brima N, Stephenson J, Buston K, Stevens M, Parker R, Copas A, McManus S. Contessa: a longitudinal study of contraception discontinuation - technical report. London, 2011

2010

Lorimer K. Pilot qualitative analysis of the psychosocial factors which drive young people to decline chlamydia testing in the UK: implications for health promotion and screening [commentary]. International Journal of STD & AIDS 2010;21:379

pubmed  

McDaid L M, Weiss H A, Hart G. Circumcision among men who have sex with men in Scotland: Limited potential for HIV prevention. Sexually Transmitted Infections 2010;86:404-6

pubmed  open access  

McDaid LM, Hart GJ. Contact with HIV prevention services highest in gay and bisexual men at greatest risk: cross-sectional survey in Scotland. BMC Public Health 2010;10:798

pubmed  open access  

McDaid LM, Hart GJ. Sexual risk behaviour for transmission of HIV in men who have sex with men: recent findings and potential interventions . Current Opinion in HIV/AIDS 2010;5:311-5

pubmed  

McDaid LM, Sweeting H, Buston K. Contraception among girls who have had more than one partner by age 16 years: method use and pregnancy risk-taking behaviour. Journal of Family Planning and Reproductive Health Care 2010;36:141-6

pubmed  open access  

2009

Abu-Rajab K, Palmer HM, Scoular A, Church S, Connell J, Hart G, Winter AJ. To what extent does Neisseria gonorrhoeae multiantigen sequence typing of gonococcal isolates support information derived from patient interviews?. International Journal of STD & AIDS 2009;20:414-7

pubmed  

Abu-Rajab K, Scoular A, Church S, Connell J, Winter AJ, Hart G. Identifying opportunities for sexually transmitted infection prevention: analysis of critical points in the care pathways of patients with gonorrhoea. International Journal of STD & AIDS 2009;20:170-5

pubmed  

Prost A, Griffiths CJ, Anderson J, Wight D, Hart GJ. Feasibility and acceptability of offering rapid HIV tests to patients registering with primary care in London (UK): a pilot study. Sexually Transmitted Infections 2009;85:326-9.

pubmed  

Williamson LM, Buston K, Sweeting H. Young women and limits to the normalisation of condom use: a qualitative study. AIDS Care 2009;21:561-566

pubmed  open access  

Williamson LM, Buston K, Sweeting H. Young women’s continued use of oral contraceptives over other hormonal methods: findings from a qualitative study. Journal of Family Planning and Reproductive Health Care 2009;35:167-172

pubmed  open access  

Williamson LM, Buston K, Sweeting H. Young women’s perceptions of pregnancy risk and use of emergency contraception: findings from a qualitative study – Authors’ Reply. Contraception 2009;80:591-2

Williamson LM, Buston K, Sweeting H. Young women’s perceptions of pregnancy risk and use of emergency contraception: findings from a qualitative study. Contraception 2009;79:310-5

pubmed  open access  

Williamson LM, Flowers P, Knussen C, Hart GJ. HIV testing trends among gay men in Scotland (1996-2005): implications for HIV testing policies and prevention. Sexually Transmitted Infections 2009;85:550-4

pubmed  open access  

Williamson LM, Parkes A, Wight D, Petticrew M, Hart GJ. Limits to modern contraceptive use among young women in developing countries: a systematic review of qualitative research. Reproductive Health 2009;6:3

pubmed  open access  

Williamson LM, Rosato M, Teyhan A, Santana P, Harding S. AIDS mortality in African migrants living in Portugal: evidence of large social inequalities. Sexually Transmitted Infections 2009;85:427-31

pubmed  open access  

2008

Prost A, Elford J, Imrie J, Petticrew M, Hart G. Social, behavioural, and intervention research among people of Sub-Saharan African origin living with HIV in the UK and Europe: literature review and recommendations for intervention. AIDS & Behavior 2008;12:170-94

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Wallace LA, Scoular A, Hart G, Reid ME, Wilson P, Goldberg DJ. What is the excess risk of infertility in women after genital chlamydia infection? A systematic review of the evidence. Sexually Transmitted Infections 2008;84:171-5

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Williamson LM, Dodds JP, Mercey DE, Hart GJ, Johnson AM. Sexual risk behaviour and knowledge of HIV status among community samples of gay men in the UK. AIDS 2008;22:1063-70

pubmed  open access  

2007

Prost A, Chopin C, McOwan A, Elam G, Dodds J, Macdonald N, Imrie J. 'There is such a thing as asking for trouble' taking rapid HIV testing to gay venues is fraught with challenges. Sexually Transmitted Infections 2007;83:185-8

pubmed  

Prost A, Sseruma W S, Fakoya I, Arthur G, Taegtmeyer M, Njeri A, Fakoya A, Imrie J. HIV voluntary counselling and testing for African communities in London: learning from experiences in Kenya. Sexually Transmitted Infections 2007;83:547-551

pubmed  

Williamson L M., Scott G, Carrick-Anderson K, Kernaghan K, Hart GJ. Chlamydia trachomatis testing among 13-25 year-olds in non-genitourinary medicine settings. Journal of Family Planning and Reproductive Health Care 2007;33:177-182

pubmed  open access  

Williamson LM, Hart GJ. HIV prevalence and undiagnosed infection among a community sample of gay men in Scotland, UK. Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes 2007;45:224-230

pubmed  

Williamson LM. Contraceptive careers: young women's choices, influences and risks [PhD], MRC Social and Public Health Sciences Unit 2007.

open access  

2006

Allen CF, Edwards M, Williamson LM, Kitson-Piggott W, Wagner HU, Camara B, Hospedales CJ. Sexually transmitted infection service use and risk factors for HIV infection among female sex workers in Georgetown, Guyana. Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes 2006;43:96-101

pubmed  

Williamson LM, Dodds JP, Mercey JE, Johnson AM, Hart GJ. Increases in HIV-related sexual risk behaviour among community samples of gay men in London and Glasgow: how do they compare?. Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes 2006;42:238-41

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2005

Hart GJ, Williamson L M. Increase in HIV sexual risk behaviour in gay men in Scotland, 1996-2002: prevention failure?. Sexually Transmitted Infections 2005;81:367-72

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Prost A. A review of research among Black African communities affected by HIV in the UK and Europe: a scoping review. MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit Occasional Paper no. 15, Glasgow, 2005

2004

Hart GJ, Williamson LM, Flowers P. Good in parts: the Gay Men’s Task Force in Glasgow – a response to Kelly. AIDS Care 2004;16:159-165

pubmed  

Williamson LM, Buston K, Sweeting H. Consistency, complexity or chaos: a qualitative study of young women's patterns of contraceptive use. European Journal of Contraception & Reproductive Health Care 2004;9:175

Williamson LM, Hart G, Petticrew M. A systematic review of research on young women's uptake, choice, and discontinuation of contraceptives: descriptive mapping. European Journal of Contraception & Reproductive Health Care 2004

Williamson LM, Hart GJ. HIV optimism does not explain increases in high-risk sexual behaviour among gay men in Scotland. AIDS 2004;18:834-835

2003

Church S. The social organisation of sex work: implications for female prostitutes' health & safety [PhD], MRC Social and Public Health Sciences Unit 2003.

open access  

2002

Elford J, Hart G, Sherr L, Williamson LM, Bolding G. Peer led HIV prevention among gay men in Britain: expanding the evidence base [editorial]. Sexually Transmitted Infections 2002;78:158-159

Flowers P, Hart G, Williamson L, Frankis J, Der G. Does bar-based, peer-led sexual health promotion have a community-level effect amongst gay men in Scotland?. International Journal of STD & AIDS 2002;13:102-108

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Hart G, Williamson L, Flowers P, Frankis J, Der G. Gay men's HIV testing behaviour in Scotland. AIDS Care 2002;14:665-674

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2001

Church S, Henderson M, Barnard M, Hart G. Violence by clients towards female prostitutes in different work settings: questionnaire survey. BMJ 2001;322:524-525

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Williamson LM, Hart GJ, Flowers P, Frankis J, Der G. The Gay Men's Task Force: the impact of peer education on the sexual health behaviour of homosexual men in Glasgow. Sexually Transmitted Infections 2001;77:427-432