"I consider Allison to be among the top early career investigators in population and public health sciences in Canada."

Dr. Angela Kaida

Dr. Allie Carter receives Dean of Graduate Studies Convocation Medal

As one of SFU's most outstanding graduate students from the Faculty of Health Sciences, Dr. Allie Carter is being recognized with the Dean of Graduate Studies Convocation Medal. On behalf of SFU, we congratulate Dr. Carter as well as all Convocation Medal recipients on their outstanding achievements.

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October 08, 2019

For her doctoral thesis, Dr. Allison Carter studied sexual health, happiness, and pleasure among more than 1,400 women living with HIV in Canada. Dispelling myths about HIV, she discovered that one-quarter of HIV-positive women were in long-term, happy, equitable, loving and sexually active relationships, most commonly with HIV-negative partners. Identifying sexualities as sites of social injustice, her research findings have important implications for improving the right of all women to have safe and satisfying sexual lives. 

Dr. Carter’s research moves beyond academia, reaching people in the public and at the heart of communities. By recognizing, valuing, and prioritizing the lived experiences of women living with HIV, she used a community-based research approach to understand the importance of sex in women's lives and women's experiences of love, relationships, sexual satisfaction and pleasure, involving women living with HIV as key research partners.

The research and work undertaken by Carter has received high praise and recognition. She has received numerous awards and her work has been featured in academic publications, conference presentations as well as invited community presentations. She also supports women living with HIV globally in positive, pleasure-focused storytelling for Life and Love with HIV, a platform launched and supported at SFU.

By recognizing, valuing, and prioritizing the lived experiences of women living with HIV, Carter used a community-based research approach to understand the importance of sex in women's lives and women's experiences of love, relationships, sexual satisfaction and pleasure, involving women living with HIV as key research partners. Consequently, Carter called for a new feminist approach for future research that addresses the socio­structural factors that shape sexual decision-making and experiences, affirms sexual diversity, and is grounded in women's sexual rights. 

Dr. Angela Kaida shares her enthusiasm for Carter’s research by stating, "I consider Allison to be among the top early career investigators in population and public health sciences in Canada. The creativity and quality of her doctoral work stands as testament of intellectual capacity, her critical analysis skills, and a deep understanding of research methods in quantitative sciences."

“I would like to sincerely thank the many women living with HIV who generously shared their time and experiences to this research. I would also like to thank the Faculty of Health Sciences for their support, and the many wonderful people and organizations with whom I have worked over the years. This was truly a community effort,” acknowledges Carter.

Dr. Allison Carter is currently a lecturer in Sexual Health at the Kirby Institute, at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia.

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