Theme Member
Assoc. Professor James Ward


Phone: 08 81284270

Mobile: 0439605227



Career Summary: In 2007 James Ward was appointed as the Inaugural Program Head of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Program at the Kirby Institute until 2012. At this time he moved to Alice Springs to become Deputy Director of the Baker Institutes’ Aboriginal Health Program.In 2014, he was appointed as the Head of Infectious Diseases Research Program- Aboriginal Health at the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute, under the leadership of Prof Steve Wesselingh. During the last five years he has progressed research in the areas of sexually transmissible infections (STIs), blood borne viruses (BBVs), vaccine preventable diseases and offender health. James is recognised as a keynote speaker on issues confronting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples' health, and in the last five years has delivered at least twenty plenary presentations. At the International AIDS Conference held in Melbourne in July 2014, he was one of three Australian plenary speakers.

Since 2010 he has a strong track record in producing research outcomes including 54 publications, alongside many other technical and non-peer reviewed articles. He has led national research projects in Aboriginal health; sexually transmissible infections and blood borne viruses, including issues surrounding injecting drug use. Most notably the collection and completion of the STRIVE study which has collected clinical attendance, testing, positivity and prevalence data from 67 remote communities provides the most useful data for us to answer the question of how to best address the long standing endemic rates of STIs in remote communities. Similarly he has recently completed data collection of knowledge, risk behaviour and health service access data from almost 3000 Aboriginal people aged 16-29 years which now gives us insight on areas that require strengthening in these domains. His work has influenced policy and practice significantly over the last five years contributing to national guidelines, and policy and practice.

James collaborates with an extensive network of researchers, government and Aboriginal community health organisations in studies such as: 1) STRIVE a cluster randomised trial of quality improvement in 67 remote communities,2) TTANGO a randomised trial of chlamydia and gonorrhoea point-of-care testing in remote Aboriginal communities and 3) GOANNA a national study of young Aboriginal people that involved every state/territory Australian health department and peak Aboriginal health organisation.

During the last five years James has provided support to Aboriginal communities’ nationally most often delivering training, lectures or specialist services such as reviewing of documents, reviews of programs or assistance in the preparation of funding proposals. He has long standing relationships with NACCHO and every state and territory Affiliate organisation and provides advice to numerous committees nationally. In 2013, James was local convener of the Australasian HIV Conference held in Darwin and in 2014 was Co-convener of the International Indigenous Peoples Conference on HIV/AIDS held in Sydney in July and Co-convener of the Inaugural World Indigenous Peoples Conference on Viral Hepatitis and the Australasian Viral Hepatitis Conference held in Alice Springs in September.

Over the last five years James has served on many national and jurisdictional committees such as; 

  • The Federal Ministerial Committee on STI and BBV (2011-)
  • NSW Ministerial Advisory Committee on STI (2003-2011)
  • The Victorian HIV Taskforce (2009- 2010)
  • The Northern Territory Sexual Health Advisory Group (2011-)
  • Board member of the Australasian Society of HIV Medicine
  • Member of the World Health Organisation Hepatitis Civil Society Reference Group

James completing his PhD in 2017 at the University of New South Wales and was awarded with the rising star award, James was also the recipient of the 2017 NAIDOC scholar award.

James Research Team Members

Selected Publications in last five years

Deng L, Reekie J, Ward JS, Hayen A, Kaldor JM, Kong M, Hunt JM, Liu B. Trends in the prevalence of hepatitis B infection among women giving birth in New South Wales. Med J Aust. 2017 Apr 17;206(7):301-305.

Wand H, Bryant J, Pitts M, Delaney-Thiele D, Kaldor JM, Worth H, Ward J. Development of a Risk Algorithm to Better Target STI Testing and Treatment Among Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People. Arch Sex Behav. 2017 Oct;46(7):2145-2156. doi: 10.1007/s10508-017-0958-9. Epub 2017 May 26

Diplock G, Ward J, Stewart S, Scuffham P, Stewart P, Reeve C, Davidson L, Maguire G. The Alice Springs Hospital Readmission Prevention Project (ASHRAPP): a randomised control trial. BMC Health Serv Res. 2017 Feb 20;17(1):153.

Nattabi B, Matthews V, Bailie J, Rumbold A, Scrimgeour D, Schierhout G, Ward J, Guy R, Kaldor J, Thompson SC, Bailie R.n Wide variation in sexually transmitted infection testing and counselling at Aboriginal primary health care centres in Australia: analysis of longitudinal constant quality improvement data.BMC Infect Dis. 2017 Feb 15;17(1):148.

Gibson O, Reilly R, Harfield S, Tufanaru C, Ward J. Web-based therapeutic interventions for assessing, managing and treating health conditions in Indigenous people: a scoping review protocol. JBI Database System Rev Implement Rep. 2017 Oct;15(10):2487-2494

Reekie J, Donovan B, Guy R, Hocking JS, Kaldor JM, Mak DB, Pearson S, Preen D, Wand H, Ward J, Liu B. Trends in chlamydia and gonorrhoea testing and positivity in Western Australian Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal women 2001?2013: a population-based cohort study. Sex Health. 2017 Jun 26

Wand H, Bryant J, Worth H, Pitts M, Kaldor JM, Delaney-Thiele D, Ward J. Low education levels are associated with early age of sexual debut, drug use and risky sexual behaviours among young Indigenous Australians. Sex Health. 2017 Nov 14

Natoli L, Guy RJ, Shephard M, Donovan B, Fairley CK, Ward J, Regan DG, Hengel B, Maher L. Chlamydia and gonorrhoea point-of-care testing in Australia: where should it be used? Sex Health. 2015 Feb 23. doi: 10.1071/SH14213. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 25702169

Tuttle SLC, Van Dantzig T, Brady S, Ward J, Maguire G. Disseminated Gonococcal Infection in Central Australia STI

Natoli L, Guy RJ, Shephard M, Whiley D, Tabrizi SN, Ward J, Regan DG, Badman SG, Anderson D, Kaldor J, Maher L on behalf of the TTANGO investigator group. Public health implications of molecular CT/NG point-of-care testing in remote primary care services in Australia; a qualitative study.BMJ Open

Guy R, Ward J, Wand H, Rumbold A, Garton L, Hengel B, Silver B, Taylor-Thomson D, Knox J, McGregor S, Dyda A, Fairley C, Maher L, Donovan B, Kaldor J; on behalf of the STRIVE Investigator Group. Coinfection with Chlamydia trachomatis, Neisseria gonorrhoeae and Trichomonas vaginalis: a cross-sectional analysis of positivity and risk factors in remote Australian Aboriginal communities. Sex Transm Infect. 2014 Oct 28.

Silver BJ, Guy RJ, Wand H, Ward J, Rumbold AR, Fairley CK, Donovan B, Maher L, Dyda A, Garton L, Hengel B, Knox J, McGregor S, Taylor-Thomson D, Kaldor JM; on behalf of the STRIVE investigators. Incidence of curable sexually transmissible infections among adolescents and young adults in remote Australian Aboriginal communities: analysis of longitudinal clinical service data. Sex Transm Infect. 2014 Nov 4.

Causer LM, Hengel B, Natoli L, Tangey A, Badman SG, Tabrizi SN, Whiley D, Ward J, Kaldor JM, Guy RJ. A field evaluation of a new molecular-based point-of-care test for chlamydia and gonorrhoea in remote Aboriginal health services in Australia. Sex Health. 2014 Nov 27.

Hengel B, Guy R, Garton L, Ward J, Rumbold A, Taylor-Thomson D, Silver B, McGregor S, Dyda A, Knox J, Kaldor J, Maher L. Barriers and facilitators of sexually transmissible infection testing in remote Australian Aboriginal communities: results from the Sexually Transmitted Infections in Remote Communities, Improved and Enhanced Primary Health Care (STRIVE) Study. Sex Health. 2014 Nov 27.

Harrod ME, Couzos S, Delaney-Thiele D, Dore GJ, Hammond B, Saunders M, Belfrage M, Williams S, Kaldor JM, Ward J. Markers of hepatitis B infection and immunity in patients attending Aboriginal community controlled health services. Med J Aust. 2014 Sep 15;201(6):339-42.

Hui BB, Ward J, Causer L, Guy RJ, Law MG, Regan DG. Could point-of-care testing be effective for reducing the prevalence of trichomoniasis in remote Aboriginal communities? Sex Health. 2014 Sep;11(4):370-4.

Ward J, Goller J, Ali H, Bowring A, Couzos S, Saunders M, Yau P, Kaldor JM, Hellard M, Guy RJ, Donovan B; ACCESS Collaboration. Chlamydia among Australian Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people attending sexual health services, general practices and Aboriginal community controlled health services. BMC Health Serv Res. 2014 Jul 1;14:285.

Natoli L, Maher L, Shephard M, Hengel B, Tangey A, Badman SG, Ward J, Guy RJ; TTANGO Investigators. Point-of-care testing for chlamydia and gonorrhoea: implications for clinical practice. PLoS One. 2014 Jun 23;9(6):e100518.

Trembizki E, Buckley C, Lawrence A, Lahra M, Whiley D; GRAND Study Investigators. Characterization of a novel Neisseria gonorrhoeae penicillinase-producing plasmid isolated in Australia in 2012. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2014 Aug;58(8):4984-5. doi: 10.1128/AAC.02993-14.

O'Connor CC, Ali H, Guy RJ, Templeton DJ, Fairley CK, Chen MY, Dickson BM, Marshall LJ, Grulich AE, Hellard ME, Kaldor JM, Donovan B, Ward JS. High chlamydia positivity rates in Indigenous people attending Australian sexual health services. Med J Aust. 2014 Jun 2;200(10):595-8.

Ward J, Costello-Czok M, Willis J, Saunders M, Shannon C. So far, so good: Maintenance of prevention is required to stem HIV incidence in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in Australia. AIDS Educ Prev. 2014 Jun;26(3):267-79. doi: 10.1521/aeap.2014.26.3.267.

Trembizki E, Doyle C, Jennison A, Smith H, Bates J, Lahra M, Whiley D; GRAND study investigators. A Neisseria gonorrhoeae strain with a meningococcal mtrR sequence. J Med Microbiol. 2014 Aug;63(Pt 8):1113-5.

Goire N, Lahra MM, Chen M, Donovan B, Fairley CK, Guy R, Kaldor J, Regan D, Ward J, Nissen MD, Sloots TP, Whiley DM. Molecular approaches to enhance surveillance of gonococcal antimicrobial resistance. Nat Rev Microbiol. 2014 Mar;12(3):223-9.

Trembizki E, Smith H, Lahra MM, Chen M, Donovan B, Fairley CK, Guy R, Kaldor J, Regan D, Ward J, Nissen MD, Sloots TP, Whiley DM. High-throughput informative single nucleotide polymorphism-based typing of Neisseria gonorrhoeae using the Sequenom MassARRAY iPLEX platform. J Antimicrob Chemother. 2014 Jun;69(6):1526-32.

Ali H, Donovan B, Fairley CK, Chen MY, O'Connor CC, Grulich AE, McNulty A, Ryder N, Hellard ME, Guy RJ; ACCESS Collaboration. Increasing access by priority populations to Australian sexual health clinics. Sex Transm Dis. 2013 Oct;40(10):819-21.

Cowling CS, Liu BC, Ward J, Snelling TL, Kaldor JM, Wilson D. Australian trachoma surveillance annual report, 2011. Commun Dis Intell Q Rep. 2013 Jun 30;37(2):E121-9.

Trembizki E, Lahra M, Stevens K, Freeman K, Hogan T, Hogg G,Lawrence A, Limnios A, Pearson J, Smith H, Nissen M, Sloots T, Whiley D; GRAND study investigators. A national quality assurance survey of Neisseria gonorrhoeae testing. J Med Microbiol. 2014 Jan;63(Pt 1):45-9.

Ward J, McGregor S, Guy RJ, Rumbold AR, Garton L, Silver BJ, Taylor-Thomson D, Hengel B, Knox J, Dyda A, Law MG, Wand H, Donovan B, Fairley CK, Skov S, Ah Chee D, Boffa J, Glance D, McDermott R, Maher L, Kaldor JM. STI in remote communities: improved and enhanced primary health care (STRIVE) study protocol: a cluster randomised controlled trial comparing 'usual practice' STI care to enhanced care in remote primary health care services in Australia. BMC Infect Dis. 2013 Sep 9;13:425.

Liu B, Roberts CL, Clarke M, Jorm L, Hunt J, Ward J. Chlamydia and gonorrhoea infections and the risk of adverse obstetric outcomes: a retrospective cohort study. Sex Transm Infect. 2013 Dec;89(8):672-8.

Graham S, Guy RJ, Cowie B, Wand HC, Donovan B, Akre SP, Ward JS. Chronic hepatitis B prevalence among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians since universal vaccination: a systematic review and meta-analysis. BMC Infect Dis. 2013 Aug 31;13:403.

Hui BB, Wilson DP, Ward JS, Guy RJ, Kaldor JM, Law MG, Hocking JS, Regan DG. The potential impact of new generation molecular point-of-care tests on gonorrhoea and chlamydia in a setting of high endemic prevalence. Sex Health. 2013 Aug;10(4):348-56.

Wallace J, Pitts M, Ward J, McNally S. Management of chronic hepatitis B in the Torres Strait Islands: an identified need for a comprehensive public health approach to chronic hepatitis B in remote Australian Indigenous communities. Aust J Prim Health. 2014;20(3):273-7.

Rahimi F, Goire N, Guy R, Kaldor JM, Ward J, Nissen MD, Sloots TP, Whiley DM. Direct urine polymerase chain reaction for chlamydia and gonorrhoea: a simple means of bringing high-throughput rapid testing to remote settings? Sex Health. 2013 Aug;10(4):299-304.

Hui BB, Gray RT, Wilson DP, Ward JS, Smith AM, Philip DJ, Law MG, Hocking JS, Regan DG. Population movement can sustain STI prevalence in remote Australian indigenous communities. BMC Infect Dis. 2013 Apr 25;13:188. doi: 10.1186/1471-2334-13-188.

Tabrizi SN, Unemo M, Golparian D, Twin J, Limnios AE, Lahra M, Guy R; TTANGO Investigators. Analytical evaluation of GeneXpert CT/NG, the first genetic point-of-care assay for simultaneous detection of Neisseria gonorrhoeae and Chlamydia trachomatis. J Clin Microbiol. 2013 Jun;51(6):1945-7.

Lea T, Costello M, Mao L, Prestage G, Zablotska I, Ward J, Kaldor J, de Wit J, Holt M. Elevated reporting of unprotected anal intercourse and injecting drug use but no difference in HIV prevalence among Indigenous Australian men who have sex with men compared with their Anglo-Australian peers. Sex Health. 2013 May;10(2):146-55.

Silver BJ, Knox J, Smith KS, Ward JS, Boyle J, Guy RJ, Kaldor J, Rumbold AR. Frequent occurrence of undiagnosed pelvic inflammatory disease in remote communities of central Australia. Med J Aust. 2012 Dec 10;197(11):647-51.

Graham S, Guy RJ, Donovan B, McManus H, Su JY, El-Hayek C, Kwan KS, Dyda A, Wand HC, Ward JS. Epidemiology of chlamydia and gonorrhoea among Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians, 2000-2009. Med J Aust. 2012 Dec 10;197(11):642-6.

Goller JL, Ward J, Saunders M, Couzos S, Kaldor J, Hellard MA; Australian Collaboration for Chlamydia Enhanced Sentinel Surveillance System (ACCESS) Collaborative. Chlamydia sentinel surveillance in Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services finds higher testing and positivity rates among younger people. Aust N Z J Public Health. 2012 Dec;36(6):577-81.

Cowling CS, Povovic G, Liu BC, Ward JS, Snelling TL, Kaldor JM, Wilson DP. Australian trachoma surveillance annual report, 2010. Commun Dis Intell Q Rep. 2012 Sep 30;36(3):E242-50.

Watchirs Smith LA, Hillman R, Ward J, Whiley DM, Causer L, Skov S, Donovan B, Kaldor J, Guy R. Point-of-care tests for the diagnosis of Neisseria gonorrhoeae infection: a systematic review of operational and performance characteristics. Sex Transm Infect. 2013 Jun;89(4):320-6

Schaffer A, Muscatello D, Cretikos M, Gilmour R, Tobin S, Ward J. The impact of influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 compared with seasonal influenza on intensive care admissions in New South Wales, Australia, 2007 to 2010: a time series analysis. BMC Public Health. 2012 Oct 12;12:869.

Liu B, Guthridge S, Li SQ, Markey P, Krause V, McIntyre P, Sullivan E, Ward J, Wood N, Kaldor JM. The end of the Australia antigen? An ecological study of the impact of universal newborn hepatitis B vaccination two decades on. Vaccine. 2012 Nov 26;30(50):7309-14.

Ali H, Donovan B, Liu B, Hocking JS, Agius P, Ward J, Bourne C, Kaldor JM, Guy RJ. Chlamydia prevention indicators for Australia: review of the evidence from New South Wales. Sex Health. 2012 Nov;9(5):399-406.

Guy R, Ward JS, Smith KS, Su JY, Huang RL, Tangey A, Skov S, Rumbold A, Silver B, Donovan B, Kaldor JM. The impact of sexually transmissible infection programs in remote Aboriginal communities in Australia: a systematic review. Sex Health. 2012 Jul;9(3):205-12.

Ward J, Guy R, Huang RL, Knox J, Couzos S, Scrimgeour D, Moore L, Leahy T, Hunt J, Donovan B, Kaldor JM. Rapid point-of-care tests for HIV and sexually transmissible infection control in remote Australia: can they improve Aboriginal people's and Torres Strait Islanders' health. Sex Health. 2012 May;9(2):109-12.

Ward J, Topp L, Iversen J, Wand H, Akre S, Kaldor J, Maher L. Higher HCV antibody prevalence among Indigenous clients of needle and syringe programs. Aust N Z J Public Health. 2011 Oct;35(5):421-6.

Shea B, Aspin C, Ward J, Archibald C, Dickson N, McDonald A, Penehira M, Halverson J, Masching R, McAllister S, Smith LT, Kaldor JM, Andersson N. HIV diagnoses in indigenous peoples: comparison of Australia, Canada and New Zealand.Int Health. 2011 Sep;3(3):193-8.

Bryant J, Ward J, Worth H, Hull P, Solar S, Bailey S. Safer sex and condom use: a convenience sample of Aboriginal young people in New South Wales. Sex Health. 2011 Sep;8(3):378-83.

Guy RJ, Ali H, Liu B, Poznanski S, Ward J, Donovan B, Kaldor J, Hocking J. Efficacy of interventions to increase the uptake of chlamydia screening in primary care: a systematic review. BMC Infect Dis. 2011 Aug 5;11:211.

Ward JS, Guy RJ, Akre SP, Middleton MG, Giele CM, Su JY, Davis CA, Wand H, Knox JB, Fagan PS, Donovan B, Kaldor JM, Russell DB. Epidemiology of syphilis in Australia: moving toward elimination of infectious syphilis from remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities? Med J Aust. 2011 May 16;194(10):525-9.

Guy RJ, Wand H, Franklin N, Fairley CK, Chen MY, O'Connor CC, Marshall L, Grulich AE, Kaldor JM, Hellard ME, Donovan B; ACCESS Collaboration. Chlamydia trends in men who have sex with men attending sexual health services in Australia, 2004-2008. Sex Transm Dis. 2011 Apr;38(4):339-46.

Guy RJ, Kong F, Goller J, Franklin N, Bergeri I, Dimech W, Reilly N, Sullivan E, Ward J, Kaldor JM, Hellard M, Donovan B; ACCESS Collaboration. A new national Chlamydia Sentinel Surveillance System in Australia: evaluation of the first stage of implementation. Commun Dis Intell Q Rep. 2010 Sep;34(3):319-28.

Wilkes E, Wilson M, Ward J. Commentary on Milloy et al. (2010): The stark reality of overdose mortality among indigenous peoples--a(nother) plea for action. Addiction. 2010 Nov;105(11):1971-2.

Ward J, Akre SP, Kaldor JM. Guarding against an HIV epidemic within an Aboriginal community and cultural framework; lessons from NSW. N S W Public Health Bull. 2010 Mar-Apr;21(3-4):78-82.

Ward J, Bryant J, Worth H, Hull P, Solar S, Bailey S. Use of health services for sexually transmitted and blood-borne viral infections by young Aboriginal people in New South Wales. Aust J Prim Health. 2013;19(1):81-6.

Current Competitive Funding

Project Grants

Novel Interventions to reduce methamphetamine use in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. (NIMAC) APP 1100696 CIs- J Ward, R McKetin, C Treloar, A Dunlop K Conigrave, D Gray, E Wilkes, B Quinn, N Ezard

New strategies to increase testing and treatment for endemic sexually transmitted infections in remote Aboriginal communities (MOST) APP 1060478. 2014-2017 .CIs Kaldor J, Ward J, Ryder N, Whiley D, Guy R.

ASH- RAPP Alice Springs Hospital Readmissions prevention project. APP 1069039.2014-2017. CIs Maguire G, Ward J.

STRIVEplus: Refinement and translation of an intervention designed to improve sexual health service delivery in remote communities. APP 1060471. 2014-2017. CIs:Kaldor J, Ward J, Bailie R,Guy R, Rumbold A, Ryder N, Connors C, Pavlin N, Law M, Skov S.

  • Should Australia introduce a National Chlamydia Testing Program? Evaluation of a randomised controlled trial. APP 1056803. 2013-2017. CIs: Hocking J, Guy R, Temple-Smith M, Low N, Lewis D, Fairley C, Donovan B, Kaldor J, Carter R, Ward J. 
  • The Forgotten Generation: Understanding health trajectories in Aboriginal adolescents and youth APP 1089104 S Eades C D’Este, E Banks, J Ward, E Wilkes, D Gray

    Partnership Grants

    Uptake, sustainability and impact of scaling up point-of-care testing for sexually transmissible infections in remote and regional Aboriginal communities TTANGO2 2014-2018 APP1092053; 2014-2018; CIs: Guy R, Shepherd M, Ward J, Kaldor J, Mak D, Fairley C, Persing D, Atkinson D, Armstrong P, Speers D.

    STRIVEplus: Refinement and translation of an intervention designed to improve sexual health service delivery in remote communities. APP1060471; 2014-2017; CIs:Kaldor J, Ward J, Bailie R,Guy R, Rumbold A, Ryder N, Connors C, Pavlin N, Law M, Skov S.

    Should Australia introduce a National Chlamydia Testing Program? Evaluation of a randomised controlled trial. APP1056803; 2013-2017; CIs: Hocking J, Guy R, Temple-Smith M, Low N, Lewis D, Fairley C, Donovan B, Kaldor J, Carter R, Ward J.

    Centre of Research Excellence

    The Australian CRE in Offender Health APP057492; 2014-2019; CIs: Butler T, Lloyd A, Schofield P, Ward J, Mitchell P, Greenberg D, Guthrie J, Kaldor J, Dean K, Chambers G.

    Australian Centre for Research Excellence in Aboriginal Sexual Health and Blood Borne Viruses APP1100302; CIs: Ward J, Kaldor J, Guy R, Donovan B, Fairley C, Arabena K, Mak D, Scrimgeour D, Nattabi B

    Get in touch
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    SAHMRI is located on the traditional lands of the Kaurna Nation.

    The SAHMRI community acknowledges and respects the traditional owners, the family clans who are the Kaurna Nation from the Adelaide Plains region of South Australia. We acknowledge the clans of the Kaurna Nation and the sacred knowledge they hold for their country. We pay our respects to the Kaurna Nation, their ancestors and the descendants of these living family clans today.