A Glasgow Caledonian University sexual health and blood borne viruses doctoral student has won a prestigious American STD Association (ASTDA) Award for his research presentation at a worldwide conference.

Congratulations to Ross Kincaid, who is supervised by Professor of Sexual Health and HIV Claudia Estcourt, Sexual Health and Blood Borne Viruses (SHBBV) research group co-lead Dr Jamie Frankis, Dr Jenny Dalrymple and University College London Senior Clinical Research Associate Dr Jo Gibbs.

He received his best poster presentation by a young investigator award at the STI & HIV 2021 World Congress, organised by the International Society for Sexually Transmitted Diseases Research (ISSTDR) and the International Union Against Sexually Transmitted Infections (IUSTI).

Ross’ poster was entitled ‘Do GBMSM’s preferences for the modality of their sexual healthcare vary according to health concerns and symptoms? A cross-sectional survey’ and the data came from his doctoral research.

His research aims to establish an evidence base to help inform the development and implementation of an online HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) service with a focus on gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men in Scotland.

Professor Estcourt said: “Ross’ achievement is exceptional. It is really gratifying to see high quality PhD research, linked to our well-established areas of expertise, gaining international acclaim at the top international conference in our field.”

Ross said he was “delighted and grateful” to receive the award.

He added: “It means a lot to have my work celebrated on such an important platform. I was honestly surprised because the conference was full of really important and high-quality work, I didn’t expect to receive something like this at such an early stage in my research career.

“I think it’s also a credit to my supervisors who encouraged me to apply for conferences and share my research from early on in my PhD – it’s given me a lot of opportunities to develop these skills.

“My motivation for getting involved in research is to be part of the dialogue between people accessing healthcare and the health professionals providing the care – to make sure people’s voices are heard when it comes to the care they receive. I think this study really speaks to that.

“This study gives an indication of people’s preferences for how they want to access sexual healthcare and shows that these preferences differ between people but also within an individual depending on what’s going on for them in that moment.

“Having this research acknowledged like this is really encouraging because it shows that there is a want and need for the type of research I want to do. It also means that people have engaged with the findings and will hopefully take this forward in their own practice and service development.”