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Professor Peter Keogh

Profile summary

Professional biography

I am Professor of Health and Society at the School of Health, Wellbeing and Social Care at the Open University. My background is in community-based research and knowledge co-creation in the areas of HIV, LGBT+ health and rights and reproductive justice. For many years, I was qualitative research lead for Sigma Research and more recently, I was a Qualitative Research Director at NatCen Social Research. I have held Honorary Professorial positions at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and Trinity College, Dublin.

Research interests

My research and teaching follow two intersecting paths. First, I explore the role of intimacy, embodiment, affect and materiality in people’s experiences of their sexual and reproductive health and rights. Second, I engage critically with contemporary Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) epistemologies drawing on biomedicalization, post-colonial and Marxist theory. These two paths converge in my commitment to the co-creation of useful and applied knowledges (community-based research and online learning) with, by and for key communities using participatory, creative, and arts-based methods.

Over the last three decades, I have carried out many community-based studies on sexual and intimate contexts for sexual and gender minorities and people living with HIV. I led on qualitative and community-based research for the Community HIV and AIDS Prevention Strategy (CHAPS) which was a Department of Health funded multi-agency partnership of community HIV prevention agencies which ran between 1996 and 2011. I have carried out extensive work in collaboration with national and global SRHR community-based organisations in a range of areas including forced marriage, clinical and social care services for people with HIV, and have completed an extensive programme of applied qualitative research into sexual risk practices of men who have sex with men spanning twenty years.

More recently, I have been working in global SRHR contexts where my projects have included the community co-creation of comprehensive sexuality education learning resources for use in  India, work with LGBTI grassroots organisations in the post-Soviet sphere on decolonising sexuality education. I led on knowledge co-creation approaches focusing on social justice and rights issues for ACCESS (Approaches in Complex and Challenging Environments for Sustainable SRHR), a major multi-agency project developing innovative SRHR responses with the most marginalised communities in Uganda, Lebanon, Nepal and Mozambique. I also led on community-based research for ICTA  (Integrating Care for Trans Adults), a UK-wide study exploring the healthcare experiences of Trans (including non-binary) people. I have been involved in award-winning collaborations with the BBC including AIDS: The Unheard Tapes and The People Versus the NHS.

My current work includes the development of a community-based online learning hub for reproductive justice activists and others in partnership with Alliance for Choice in Belfast and work on co-creation of community resources with Afya na Haki (Ahaki) in Kampala, Uganda.

I have held many leadership roles at The Open University over the last five years including Deputy Associate Dean for Research Excellence at the Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies, head of The Open University Reproduction, Sexualities and Sexual Health Research Group and Health Research Lead at the School of Health, Wellbeing and Social Care. I am currently chair of the Open University COVID Response Coordinating Group and am Faculty lead on the University Knowledge Exchange Committee.

Teaching interests

I teach in the areas of public health, sexual and reproductive health and qualitative and community-based research approaches. I am Module Chair on K323: Investigating Health and Social Care, was production chair for K311: Promoting Public Health and I also teach on K213 Health & Illness. I am a visiting lecturer on sexual and reproductive health and rights at several universities including The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Sheffield Hallam University and Lund University, Sweden.

I am an experienced PhD supervisor and welcome enquiries from prospective students on critical approaches in any area of sexual and reproductive health. I am particularly interested in proposals employing innovative community-based or participatory methodologies.

Externally funded projects

REact (Rights, Evidence Action): Implementing a human rights documentation and monitoring system
RoleStart dateEnd dateFunding source
Co-investigator03 Jan 202231 Mar 2022Frontline AIDS

REAct is a piece of work being undertaken as part of the ACCESS research project between the OU and consortium partner, Frontline Aids. The work involves the development of an e-learning version of Frontline Aid’s existing training course delivered, pre-pandemic, face-to-face. The end product will be a 6-hour course published on the OpenLearn Create platform. The work falls under the ‘Access to Justice’ mini-project which the OU is leading (Professor Peter Keogh). Evidence and data of human rights abuses, with a particular focus on Gender Based Violence, gathered by ‘REActors’ is/will be developed for advocacy purposes at both local, regional and national levels and be used to influence policy change - one of the key outputs of the ACCESS research programme. This AMS record covers the work that will fall outside the timeline of the ACCESS project which is being terminated ahead of schedule by FCDO at 31 December 2021. LDS are currently building the course and it is scheduled for presentation in w/c 22 January to a pilot cohort of Frontline Aid partner staff based in Uganda. The course will run over 3-weeks and it is expected that some final minor amendments will be made following feedback from the pilot cohort. This work, scheduled over January to end of March 2022 and estimated at £6000, will be paid for by Frontline Aids who will issue the OU with a service contract.

ACCESS – Approaches in Complex and Challenging Environments for Sustainable SRHR-CO-CREATION PHASE
RoleStart dateEnd dateFunding source
Co-investigator01 Feb 201931 Oct 2019FCDO Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office

The ACCESS project will generate sustainable, scalable, rights-based approaches to deliver comprehensive SRHR to all, ensuring no one is left behind, even in the most complex and challenging settings. It will work in Ethiopia, Myanmar, Nepal, Sierra Leone, and Uganda. Three planned outcome changes: 1) Increased demand for and availability of quality, comprehensive SRH services and agency to claim and enjoy rights by the most marginalised populations in complex and challenging environments. (2) Strengthened SRHR capacity, preparedness and resilience of government, civil society and communities in complex and challenging environments, ensuring no one is left behind. (3) Improved national and global policy environment for an effective, coordinated, and evidence-based SRHR response in complex and challenging environments. There are six interlinked work streams, each led by one consortium partner: 1) Delivering comprehensive, quality sexual and reproductive health services: Led by the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) 2) Working with and for the most marginalised and underserved: Led by the International HIV/AIDS Alliance 3) Navigating complex and challenging environments: Led by the Women's Refugee Commission (WRC) 4) Generating high-quality research evidence: Led by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) (5) Enhancing capacity-building and learning at scale: Led by the Open University (OU) 6) Influencing through advocacy, engagement and information: Led by Internews

SHI Foundation: Symposium Grant
RoleStart dateEnd dateFunding source
Lead01 Jan 201630 Nov 2016Foundation for the Sociology of Health and Illness (FSHI)

This seminar will bring together those who have been involved in conducting applied social scientific research over the last 20 years with early career researchers and people living with HIV to consider this period under three interrelated headings: Subjectivities, Identities & Collectivities. The potentiality for ‘life with HIV’ has been dramatically enhanced over this period. Here we explore what the manifold experiences of living with HIV might tell us about emerging or novel HIV-related identities, intimacies and socialities. Materialities As the quantity of life with HIV increases and the population ages, material questions come to the fore. What structural inequalities and material deprivations have emerged during this period and how have these been responded to? What forms of capital are at mobilised in these responses? Governance & Resistance What kinds of mechanisms are used to regulate the lives of people living with or at risk for HIV and how have these processes been described or theorised? What governmental technologies have emerged or been deployed? What political forms or groups have coalesced around HIV during this period and how do they differ from those which were prominent prior to the treatment era?


Recovering Political Knowledge in Public Health: Learning from Sexual and Reproductive Health Work (2023-07-24)
Keogh, Peter
Critical Public Health ((Early Access))

The Long and Winding Road: Archiving and Re-Using Qualitative Data from 12 Research Projects Spanning 16 Years (2021-06-01)
Dodds, Catherine; Keogh, Peter; Bourne, Adam; McDaid, Lisa; Squire, Corinne; Weatherburn, Peter and Young, Ingrid
Sociological Research Online, 26(2) (pp. 269-287)

Tempering hope with Intimate Knowledge: contrasting emergences of the concept ‘uninfectious’ in HIV (2021-06)
Keogh, Peter and Dodds, Catherine
Sociology of Health & Illness, 43(5) (pp. 1100-1116)

Relatively normal? Navigating emergent sensitivity in generating and analysing accounts of ‘normality’ (2021)
Witney, Tom and Keogh, Peter
International Journal of Social Research Methodology, 24(5) (pp. 537-543)

Drug use among men who have sex with men in Ireland: Prevalence and associated factors from a national online survey (2019-02-28)
Barrett, P.; O’Donnell, K.; Fitzgerald, M.; Schmidt, A. J.; Hickson, F.; Quinlan, M.; Keogh, P.; O’Connor, L.; McCartney, D. and Igoe, D.
International Journal of Drug Policy, 64 (pp. 5-12)

Inequalities in HIV testing uptake and needs among men who have sex with men living in Ireland: findings from an internet survey (2019-02)
O'Donnell, K.; Fitzgerald, M.; Quinlan, M.; Hickson, F.; Keogh, P.; Schmidt, A. J.; McCartney, D.; Barrett, P.; O'Dea, S. and Igoe, D.
HIV Medicine, 20(2) (pp. 157-163)

Reaching the Right People: Reflexive Practice to Support Effective Recruitment, Participation, and Engagement in Research With Communities Affected by Stigma (2018-12-18)
Stevenson, Jacqui; Keogh, Peter; Smith, John and West, Elizabeth
International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 17 (pp. 1-7)

Women’s experiences of ageing with HIV in London (2017-12)
Stevenson, Jacqui; Keogh, Peter; Smith, John and West, Elizabeth
HIV Nursing, 17(4) (pp. 134-138)

Embodied, clinical and pharmaceutical uncertainty: people with HIV anticipate the feasibility of HIV treatment as prevention (TasP) (2017)
Keogh, Peter
Critical Public Health, 27(1) (pp. 63-74)

Non-condom related strategies to reduce the risk of HIV transmission: Perspectives and experiences of gay men with diagnosed HIV (2016-11-01)
Bourne, Adam; Dodds, Catherine; Keogh, Peter and Weatherburn, Peter
Journal of Health Psychology, 21(11) (pp. 2562-2571)

Learning from the experiences of people with HIV using general practitioner services in London: a qualitative study (2016-07-31)
Keogh, Peter; Weatherburn, Peter and Reid, David
Primary Health Care Research and Development, 17(4) (pp. 351-360)

Being targeted: Young women's experience of being identified for a teenage pregnancy prevention programme (2016-06)
Sorhaindo, Annik; Bonell, Chris; Fletcher, Adam; Jessiman, Patricia; Keogh, Peter and Mitchell, Kirstin
Journal of Adolescence, 49 (pp. 181-190)

Young women’s lived experience of participating in a positive youth development programme: The “Teens & Toddlers” pregnancy prevention intervention (2016-06)
Sorhaindo, Annik; Mitchell, Kirstin; Fletcher, Adam; Jessiman, Patricia; Keogh, Peter and Bonell, Chris
Health Education, 116(4) (pp. 356-371)

Pharmaceutical HIV prevention technologies in the UK: six domains for social science research (2015)
Keogh, Peter and Dodds, Catherine
AIDS Care: Psychological and Socio-medical Aspects of AIDS/HIV, 27(6) (pp. 796-803)

Randomized controlled trial of 'teens and toddlers': a teenage pregnancy prevention intervention combining youth development and voluntary service in a nursery (2013-10)
Bonnell, Chris; Maisey, Ruth; Speight, Svetlana; Purdon, Susan; Keogh, Peter; Wollny, Ivonne; Sorhaindo, Annik and Wellings, Kaye
Journal of Adolescence, 36(5) (pp. 859-870)

Problems with sex among gay and bisexual men with diagnosed HIV in the United Kingdom (2012-10-29)
Bourne, Adam; Hickson, Ford; Keogh, Peter; Reid, David and Weatherburn, Peter
BMC Public Health, 12, Article 916(1)

Perceptions of superinfection risk among gay men with diagnosed HIV who have unprotected anal intercourse (2011-04)
Bourne, A.; Dodds, C.; Weatherburn, P. and Keogh, P.
International Journal of STD & AIDS, 22(4) (pp. 190-193)

How to Be a Healthy Homosexual: HIV Health Promotion and the Social Regulation of Gay Men in the United Kingdom (2008-12-12)
Keogh, Peter
Journal of Homosexuality, 55(4) (pp. 581-605)

Addressing gay men's use of methamphetamine and other substances (2008-10-01)
Bonell, C.; Weatherburn, P.; Rhodes, T.; Hickson, F.; Keogh, P. and Elford, J.
Addiction Reseach & Theory, 16(5) (pp. 417-420)

Morality, responsibility and risk: Negative gay men's perceived proximity to HIV (2008-05-16)
Keogh, Peter
AIDS Care: Psychological and Socio-medical Aspects of AIDS/HIV, 20(5) (pp. 576-581)

Criminal prosecutions for HIV transmission: people living with HIV respond (2006-05-01)
Dodds, Catherine and Keogh, Peter
International Journal of STD & AIDS, 17(5) (pp. 315-318)

Anonymous sex among homosexually active men: implications for HIV prevention (2000)
Weatherburn, Peter; Keogh, Peter and Hickson, Ford
Venereology, 13(4) (pp. 143-148)

Tales from the backroom: anonymous sex and HIV risk in London's commercial gay sex venues (2000)
Keogh, Peter and Weatherburn, Peter
Venereology, 13(4) (pp. 150-155)

Gay Men and HIV: Community Responses and Personal Risks (1998)
Keogh, Peter; Beardsell, Susan; Davies, Peter; Hickson, Ford and Weatherburn, Peter
Journal of Psychology & Human Sexuality, 10(3-4) (pp. 59-73)

Estimating the prevalence of forced marriage in England (2013-04-04)
Keogh, Peter; Kazimirski, Anne; Purdon, Susan and Maisey, Ruth
In: Ribbens McCarthy, Jane; Hooper, Carol Ann and Gillies, Val eds. Family Troubles? Exploring Changes and Challenges in the Family Lives of Children and Young People (pp. 245-256)
ISBN : 9781447304432 | Publisher : Policy Press | Published : Bristol

Principles in practice. Co-creation of Learning in complex and challenging environments. Discussion Guide and Toolkit. (2021-12)
Charitonos, Koula; Hoggart, Lesley; Jones, Rebecca; Keogh, Peter and Scott, Ellen
The Open University and the ACCESS consortium

The Evaluation of the ‘Teens and Toddlers’ Youth Programme: A Randomised Controlled Trial (2014)
Maisey, Ruth; Speight, Svetlana; Bonnell, Chris; Purdon, Susan; Keogh, Peter; Wollny, Ivonne; Sorhaindo, Annik M. and Wellings, Kaye

My Care, I Care: a study of what people with HIV value about NHS HIV services across London (2013)
Weatherburn, Peter; Keogh, Peter; Reid, David; Hammond, Gary and Jessup, Kathie
Sigma Research, London.

Testing public health intervention guidance on increasing the uptake of HIV testing among men who have sex with men. Final fieldwork report (2011-03)
Keogh, Peter; Dodds, Catherine and Weatherburn, Peter
NatCen Social Research

Evaluation of the Child Maintenance Options Service (2011-01)
Ireland, Eleanor; Poole, Eloise; Armstrong, Cole; Keogh, Peter and Purdon, Susan
Child Maintanance & Enforcement Commission

Forced Marriage: Prevalence and Service Response (2009-07)
Kazmirski, Anne; Keogh, Peter; Kumari, Vijay; Maisie, Ruth; Gowland, Sally; Purdon, Susan and Khanum, Nazia
Department of Children, Schools & Families (DCSF), London.

Framework for better living with HIV in England (2009-05)
Keogh, Peter; Azad, Yusef; Carter, Michael; Crafer, Elizabeth; Cregan, Sinead; Morley, Chris; Nkwenti, Priscilla; Nutland, Will; Pebody, Roger; Reynolds, Rhon; Summerside, Jack and Weatherburn, Peter
Sigma Research, London.

Relative Safety 2: Risk and unprotected anal intercourse among gay men diagnosed with HIV (2009-03)
Bourne, Adam; Dodds, Catherine; Keogh, Peter and Weatherburn, Peter
Sigma Research, London.

What do you need? 2007-2008: Findings from a national survey of people with diagnosed HIV (2009-03)
Weatherburn, Peter; Keogh, Peter; Reid, David; Dodds, Catherine; Bourne, Adam; Owuor, John; Hammond, Gary and Jessup, Kathie
Sigma Research, London.

Wasted opportunities: Problematic alcohol and drug use among gay men and bisexual men (2009-02)
Keogh, Peter; Reid, David; Bourne, Adam and Weatherburn, Peter
Sigma Research, London.

The growing challenge: a strategic review of HIV social care, support and information services across the UK. (2009)
Weatherburn, Peter; Keogh, Peter; Dodds, Catherine; Hickson, Ford and Henderson, Laurie
Sigma Research, London.

An early process evaluation of the public law outline in family courts (2009)
Jessiman, Patricia; Keogh, Peter and Brophy, Julia
Ministry of Justice

Morality, responsibility and risk: Gay men and proximity to HIV. London (2006-06)
Keogh, Peter; Henderson, Laurie; Dodds, Catherine and Hammond, Gary
Sigma Research, London.

Lambeth LGBT Matters: The needs and experiences of lesbians, gay men, bisexual and trans men and women in Lambeth. (2006)
Keogh, Peter; Reid, David and Weatherburn, Peter
Sigma Research, London.

Outsider status: Stigma and discrimination experienced by gay men and African people with HIV (2004-12)
Dodds, Catherine; Keogh, Peter; Chime, Ogo; Haruperi, Thandi; Ssanyu Sseruma, Winnie and Weatherburn, Peter
Sigma Research, London.

Doctoring gay men: Exploring the contribution of General Practice (2004-07)
Keogh, Peter; Weatherburn, Peter; Henderson, Laurie; Reid, David; Dodds, Catherine and Hickson, Ford
Sigma Research, London.

Ethnic minority gay men: Redefining community, restoring identity (2004-02)
Keogh, Peter; Henderson, Laurie and Dodds, Catherine
Sigma Research, London.

Migrant gay men: Redefining community, restoring identity (2004-02)
Keogh, Peter; Henderson, Laurie and Dodds, Catherine
Sigma Research, London.

Working class gay men: Redefining community, restoring identity (2004-01)
Keogh, Peter; Dodds, Catherine and Henderson, Laurie
Sigma Research, London.

The Field Guide: Applying Making it Count to health promotion activity with homosexually active men (2003-10)
Devlin, Will; Keogh, Peter; Nutland, Will and Weatherburn, Peter
Terrence Higgins Trust, London.