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Alex Pollard

Alex Pollard (BA, MA)

Research Fellow
T: +44 (0)1273 644788
Location: Watson Building, University of Brighton, Falmer, Brighton, BN1 9PH

Area of expertise: Patient experience and preferences, HIV/STI testing policy, health promotion, LGB&T health demographics. 

Research areas: Health service design, HIV/STI interventions, Sexual identity and health. 



Alex Pollard is a Research Fellow in patient health service experience, with a background in direct community services.  After undergraduate study exploring the cultural experience of LGB&T communities, Alex came to the University of Sussex to complete the innovative Masters degree in Sexual Dissidence, where his dissertation explored the interaction between marketing and LGB&T identities. 

After early professional work in Public Relations, Alex managed HIV/STI Health Promotion teams in the UK (Terrence Higgins Trust) and Australia (ACON, Sydney), addressing the needs of varied patient groups including gay men and African people.  Since 2009 Alex has been employed as a Research Fellow at BSMS, has held an honorary contract with the NHS Hospital Trust, and been a co-applicant in European Union qualitative research studies.  His research has focused on the design and delivery of clinical services to patients affected by HIV and STIs, HIV/STI health promotion interventions, and the general health experience of LGB&T people. 


Alex’ varied research has included a series of qualitative and mixed-methods, observational, interventional and randomised control studies in partnership with clinical, community, and multi-disciplinary partners.  

Recent and on-going projects include: 

  • A RCT of a psychological intervention to reduce HIV risk-taking; 
  • Feasibility trial of an innovative intervention in HIV testing technologies to access hard-to-reach populations (British Medical Innovation Award winner);
  • A protocol for the EU exploring health support roles for LGB&T people at risk of HIV and other viral infections;
  • HIV service adaptations to improve access and care for patients with HIV and STIs; 
  • A Health Technology Assessment of STI risk reduction interventions for use in clinical settings;
  • Analysis of the national GP Patient Survey (GPPS) data to explore the health correlations of sexual orientation; 
  • Health policy in the demographic monitoring of patients; 
  • Exploration of medical students’ skills and education needs in understanding the health experience of LGB&T patients. 

See Alex’ recent focus group studies for the European Commission project ‘Health4LGBTI’ here >



Alex supports Qualitative Research Methods in the medical school undergraduate curriculum, and set up the Social Determinants of Health unit in the Student Selected Component teaching strand. 

He also regularly supervises individual research projects for fourth year medical students, and runs training in Health Promotion and Motivational Interviewing Skills. 

Selected publications

Medical students’ attitudes, confidence and knowledge about caring for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender patients. Medical Education. 2019. In review.

Non-clinical sexual health support for HIV, viral hepatitis, and other sexually transmitted infections in gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men: Protocol for a European Community Health Worker Online Survey (ECHOES). Research Protocol. Journal of Medical Internet Research. 2019.  In review. 

Healthcare provider and service user perspectives on STI risk reduction interventions for young people and MSM in the UK. Sexually Transmitted Infections. 2019. In press 

Acceptability and feasibility of using digital vending machines to deliver HIV self-tests men who have sex with men. Sexually Transmitted Infections. 2019. In press

The NHS England Fundamental Information Standard for Monitoring Sexual Orientation.  British Journal of General Practice. 2019. DOI: 10.3399/bjgp19X701213

A randomised controlled trial of a telephone administered brief HIV risk reduction intervention amongst men who have sex with men prescribed post-exposure prophylaxis for HIV after sexual exposure in the UK: Project PEPSE.  PLoS One. 2019. DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0216855

Sexual risk reduction interventions for patients attending sexual health clinics; feasibility to conduct an effectiveness trial. Health Technology Assessment.  2019  DOI 10.3310/hta23120

Sexual Orientation Disclosure in Health Care.  British Journal of General Practice. 2018. DOI: 10.3399/bjgp18X694841 

Syndemics of stigma, minority-stress, maladaptive coping, risk environments and littoral spaces among men who have sex with men using chemsex.  Culture, Health & Sexuality. 2018. DOI: 10.1080/13691058.2017.1350751

Health4LGBTI: Focus groups studies with LGBTI people and health professionals. Final overview report on the outcomes of the focus groups. European Commission. 2017.

UK Healthcare professionals’ uncertainties, barriers and facilitators to the introduction of targeted HPV vaccination for MSM: a qualitative analysis.  Sexual Health. 2017.  DOI:10.1071/SH17026

Patients’ perspectives on the development of HIV services to accommodate ageing with HIV: a qualitative study.  International Journal of STD & AIDS. 2017. DOI: 10.1177/0956462417735723.

Which Aspects of Health Care Are Most Valued by People Living with HIV in High-Income Countries? A Systematic Review.  BMC Health Services Research. 2016.  DOI: 10.1186/s12913-016-1914-4