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 Adam Williams

Adam Williams

Research student, Centre for Trials Research, School of Medicine

+44 (0)29 2087 9989
Room 507, 5th Floor, Neuadd Meirionnydd, University Hospital of Wales, Heath Park, Cardiff, CF14 4YS


  • I am a PhD student situated within the Centre for Trials Research.
  • My PhD aims to understand the potential impact of HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP, a medication for preventing HIV) on rates of sexually transmitted infections and antibiotic resistance among men who have sex with men in Wales.
  • This project is funded by KESS2 (European Social Fund) and Public Health Wales who act as my company partner.

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2019 - 2022PhD MedicineCardiff University, Wales, UK
2018 - 2019MSc Health Psychology (with placement)Bath University, England, UK (Bristol University, Engalnd, UK)
2014 - 2017BSc Psychology with CriminologyUniversity of South Wales, Wales, UK 
2019Images of Research (First Prize)Cardiff University, Wales, UK


Research interests

My background is in psychology and health behaviours. In 2019 I started my PhD in medicine, examinng HIV prevention and behaviour change from a public health perspective. I am particularly interested in working towards bringing an end to the transmission of HIV.

Clinically, I am interested in exploring behaviours related to the spread of infectious diseases and how to combat the spread. My other focus is reducing the impact antimicrobial resistance among sexually transmitted infections.

Methodologically, I am a mixed methods researcher with interest in using both quantitative and qualitative methodologies to triangulating results.



  • Developing learning materials relating to using NVIVO for research purposes for the GW4
  • Intercalated Population Medicine: developing and teaching a module relating to sexual health and research
  • Cardiff Step-Up: developing and teaching a 6-week health and wellbeing course delivered to college students from deprived areas

Public Engagement

  • National Student Pride, Researching the Rainbow (2020 & 2021): an event for LGBTQ+ people to present their research relating to LGBTQ+ people. I have been requested to present my research at this event for 2 consecutive years.
  • Science in Health Live (2020 & 2021): welcoming pupils to Cardiff School of Medicine, the event is aimed at students in Year 12 giving the opportunity to discover more about the latest internationally recognised science discoveries taking place within healthcare
  • Life Sciences Challenge (2019 - 2021): an inter-school competition for year 10 pupils consisting of a quiz designed and delivered by PhD students



Understanding the relationship between HIV Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis, sexually transmitted infections and antimicrobial resistance in Wales.

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a virus that weakens and damages the human immune system, resulting in those infected being unable to fight infections naturally. In Wales, over 100 people are diagnosed every year, with a 10% increase every year. Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) is an HIV prevention method in which people who don’t have HIV take HIV medicine to reduce their risk of contracting HIV if they are exposed to the virus.

Wales has recently introduced PrEP through integrated sexual health clinics, where it is prescribed to those considered to be at increased risk of acquisition. The risk criteria for PrEP largely focusses on individuals who engage in repeated condomless intercourse and/or are known to clinics due to past diagnoses of sexually transmitted infections. 

There is currently no robust evidence to either refute or support the claim. While there is some evidence that sexually transmitted infections are increasing amongst high risk populations, this can also be explained by the increased amount of testing that PrEP users undergo while receiving PrEP, this is known as surveillance bias. Selection bias also poses an issue in research as those who are provided PrEP are individuals who admit to infrequent condom use before use. Therefore, their rates of condomless sex and rates of infection may not be increasing as much as staying regular.

The aim of this project will be to understand the relationship between pre-exposure prophylaxis, sexually transmitted infections, and antimicrobial resistance in Wales. Acknowledging the sources of bias within data and attempting to understand the true picture using a mixed methods approach. This project intends to develop knowledge and understanding around the impact of PrEP and enhance its use. Hopefully, awareness around the dangers of antimicrobial resistance will be enhanced and allow for people to engage in safer sexual activity. 

Funding source

KESS2 East



David Gillespie

Director, Infection, Inflammation and Immunity Trials, Principal Research Fellow


Professor Kerry Hood

Director, Centre for Trials Research

Fiona Wood

Professor Fiona Wood

Personal Chair