Dr Peter Saxton

BSocSci (dist) Waikato, MPhil (dist) Massey, PhD Otago.


My research interests include:

  • HIV prevention
  • Control of sexually transmitted infections
  • Sexual behaviour
  • Sexual orientation and health disparities

I am the inaugural New Zealand AIDS Foundation Fellow and Director of the Gay Men's Sexual Health (GMSH) research group. I have a joint appointment with the AIDS Epidemiology Group at the University of Otago.

My focus is preventing infection and epidemic control. I have expertise in community-based research, health promotion, policy improvement and knowledge translation. My work is characterised by a multidisciplinary perspective, action-focused leadership, and collaborative practice between the university, NGOs and most-affected communities.

Research | Current

  • HIV Behavioural Surveillance programme
  • HIV Epidemiology
  • HIV Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) Demonstration Project
  • Gonorrhoea Vaccine
  • Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccine
  • New Zealand Health Survey: Sexual and Reproductive Health Module
  • Drug use, sexual practices, community connection (Flux NZ)
  • Blood donor deferral policy

Postgraduate supervision

Adrian Ludlam, doctoral candidate, "HPV prevalence and vaccine awareness, acceptability and uptake in high risk men"

Samuel Andrews, Masters candidate, "Chemsex among gay and bisexual men in Aotearoa New Zealand"

Tanushi (Minu) Punchihewa, Masters candidate, "Experiences on PrEP among early adopting gay and bisexual men"

Ismael Sabido, Master of Health Leadership candidate, "Innovations in PrEP delivery"

Moira Clunie, Masters of Social Work candidate, "The role of rainbow community leadership in preventing suicide"

Akin Magbagbeola, Master of Public Health candidate, "General Practitioner awareness, knowledge and attitude to PrEP prescribing in the Waikato region"

Aung Myat, Master of Health Leadership candiate, "Increasing accessibility and acceptability of STI home testing options among gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men"

Paul Ware, PhD candidate, "Systems under stress: A national level comparative analysis of the effects of social cohesion on population health outcomes during the COVID-19 pandemic"


Australasian Sexual Health Alliance Mid-Career Interdisciplinary Achiever Award 2016

Areas of expertise


Public engagement is an important part of our work:

Our research and expertise is directly translated into prevention programmes like "Ending HIV" by the New Zealand AIDS Foundation:

Committees/Professional groups/Services

New Zealand Sexual Health Society Executive

Infectious Diseases Academy, Ministry of Health

Expert HIV Scientist Original Endorser, “Expert consensus statement on the science of HIV in the context of criminal law” July 2018

National HIV/AIDS Forum ("Consensus Statement on Comprehensive HIV Prevention in Aotearoa/New Zealand")

New Zealand Blood Service Behavioural Donor Criteria Independent Expert Review Group 2013-

Body Positive Inc. Advisor

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Saxton, P. J. W., & McAllister, S. M. (2019). Enumerating the population eligible for funded HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) in New Zealand. Sexual Health, 16 (1), 63-69. 10.1071/SH18058
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/45670
  • Saxton, P. J. W., Azariah, S., Franklin, R. A., Forster, R. F., Werder, S. F., Jenkins, R., ... Fisher, M. D. (2019). Baseline characteristics of gay and bisexual men in a HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis demonstration project with equity quotas in Auckland, New Zealand. Sexual health, 16 (1), 47-55. 10.1071/sh18056
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/45725
  • Saxton, P., Giola, M., Coughlan, E., Rich, J., Azariah, S., Ludlam, A., ... Myers, J. (2018). Implementing HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP): let's not get caught with our pants down. New Zealand Medical Journal, 131 (1481), 64-73. Related URL.
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/46235
  • Saxton, P., Newcombe, D., Ahmed, A., Dickson, N., & Hughes, A. (2018). Illicit drug use among New Zealand gay and bisexual men: Prevalence and association with sexual health behaviours. Drug and Alcohol Review, 37 (2), 180-187. 10.1111/dar.12536
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: David Newcombe
  • Petousis-Harris, H., Paynter, J., Morgan, J., Saxton, P., McArdle, B., Goodyear-Smith, F., & Black, S. (2017). Effectiveness of a group B outer membrane vesicle meningococcal vaccine against gonorrhoea in New Zealand: A retrospective case-control study. The Lancet, 390 (10102), 1603-1610. 10.1016/s0140-6736(17)31449-6
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/44430
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Helen Petousis-Harris, Janine Paynter, Barbara McArdle, Felicity Goodyear-Smith
  • Saxton, P. J. (2016). Update on addictions-related research by the Gay Men’s Sexual Health (GMSH) research group. Auckland, New Zealand. Related URL.
  • Dickson, N., Lee, B., Foster, T., & Saxton, P. (2015). The first 30 years of HIV in New Zealand: Review of the epidemiology. New Zealand Medical Journal, 128 (1426), 31-48.
  • Saxton, P. J., Hughes, A. J., & Giola, M. (2015). HIV prevention today: with coordinated action, we can end transmission. New Zealand Medical Journal, 128 (1426), 8-15. Related URL.
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/28058

Contact details

Alternative contact

Extension number: 81434

Primary office location

M&HS BUILDING 507 - Bldg 507
Level 1, Room 1128
New Zealand

Web links