Alaina Vaisey

Recent posts

Syphilitic Reflections on the 20th Century

At times, working on a long-term STI research project, it is easy to become embroiled in the minutiae of the day-to-day. When times like this strike, it is crucial to remember the bigger picture. From a less cosmic perspective, some historical appreciation of our place in sexual health is often required, both as a reflection on how much has been achieved and a reminder of the forces that continue to influence this work. Above is a graph to which I turn when such a reminder is necessary – it depicts syphilis diagnoses in genitourinary medicine clinics in the UK from 1931–2004. A favorite of epidemiologists working in sexual health, this graph appeared in lectures in various subjects throughout my studies; it was used as a tool to prompt students to consider transmission dynamics of STIs and the many factors that influence these. Continue Reading →

Australia’s Chlamydial Pursuits

As a researcher working in sexual health, I try to keep an ear to the ground with regard to developments in the STI realm. Regardless of one’s personal or professional interests, however, it is difficult to ignore the spotlight that has been shining on chlamydia in recent times. From posters on public toilet doors, to plotlines on Australia’s second-favourite evening soap, one can certainly argue that chlamydia is Australia’s STI du jour. As I am currently devoting my professional life to chlamydia-specific research, I must disclose that the chlamydia fervor is subsidizing my lifestyle. But aside from funding my penchant for fine cheeses and late-night Etsy binges, there are a number of reasons why chlamydia is deservedly the focus of national attention. Continue Reading →