Patrick O'Byrne


Patrick O'Byrne
Associate Professor

2010 Post-Doctorate Medicine University of Toronto
2009 Post-Doctorate Nursing University of California, San Francisco (UCSF)
2008 PhD Nursing University of Ottawa
2005 MScN. (Transfer to PhD) Nursing University of Ottawa
2004 BScN Nursing University of Ottawa

Room: RGN 3249B
Office: 613-562-5800 ext. 8917
Work E-mail:

Patrick O'Byrne


Patrick O’Byrne, RN, PhD, is an Associate Professor in the School of Nursing, Faculty of Health Sciences, at the University of Ottawa. His field of research and clinical practice is public health. In particular, Dr. O’Byrne focuses on sexually transmitted infections (STIs), HIV, and the public health and HIV prevention outcomes of criminal prosecutions against people living with HIV who are accused of not disclosing their HIV-status to potential sexual partners. As part of this work, Dr. O’Byrne has been involved in various Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR) funded projects involving marginalized populations, such as, men who have sex with men (gay, bisexual, queer men), teens, swingers, and the homeless. Dr. O’Byrne has received a Governor General’s Academic Gold Medal for this work. Dr. O’Byrne is also the recipient of an Early Researcher Award from the Ministry of Research and Innovation (Government of Ontario).


Research Interests

  • Public health nursing
  • Marginalized populations
  • Sexual health
  • Sexually transmitted infections and HIV
  • Critical theory and Politics
  • Nursing
  • Intersection of health and law



  • O’Byrne P, Watts J*. (Accepted). Inclusion, Differentiation, and Management: Young Gay Men, STI/HIV Clinics, and Health Care Utilization. Nursing Inquiry.
  • Bryan A*, O’Byrne P. (In Press). A Policy Proposal for Clinicians Caring for People Living with HIV/AIDS. Policy, Politics, and Nursing Practice.
  • O’Byrne P. (In Press). Examining the Intersection of Desire, Drugs, and Place Among Gay Men. Journal of Research in Nursing.
  • O’Byrne P, Bryan A*, & Woodyatt, C*. (In Press). Nondisclosure Prosecutions and HIV Prevention: Preliminary Results from an Ottawa-Based Gay Men’s Sex Survey. Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care.
  • O’Byrne P. (In Press). Nomadic Sexualities: An In-Depth Case Study about “Unsafe Sex”. Nursing Inquiry.
  • O’Byrne P, Gagnon M. 2012. HIV Criminalization and Nursing PracticeAporia 4(2), 5-34.
  • O’Byrne P, Holmes D. 2012. Indulgence, Restraint, and the Engagement of Pleasure: Inciting Reflection using Nietzsche’s Ascetic IdealResearch and Theory for Nursing Practice: An International Journal 26(1), 10-24.
  • O’Byrne P. (2012). Health Inequities, HIV, and Public Health Practice: Examining the Role of Qualitative Research. Research and Theory for Nursing Practice: An International Journal, 26(3): 167-181
  • O’Byrne P. 2012. HIV Prevention in the Context of Care: HIV Testing and Public Health Practice. Public Health Nursing, 29(2):175-184.
  • O’Byrne P. 2012. Population Health and Social Governance: Analysing the Mainstream Incorporation of Ethnography.Qualitative Health Research, 22(5):859-67.
  • O’Byrne P. 2012 Criminal Law and Public Health Practice: Are the Canadian HIV Disclosure Laws an Effective HIV Prevention Strategy? Sexuality Research & Social Policy, 9(1):70-9.
  • O’Byrne P, Holmes D. 2011. Drug Use as Boundary Play: A Qualitative Exploration of Gay Circuit Parties. Substance Use & Misuse, 46(12):1510-22.
  • O’Byrne P. 2011. The Potential Effects of a Police Announcement about an HIV Non-Disclosure: A Case Analysis. Policy, Politics, and Nursing Practice, 12(1):53-63.
  • O’Byrne P. 2011. HIV, Nursing Practice, and the Law: What does HIV Criminalization Mean for Practicing Nurses? Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care, 22(5):339-44.
  • O’Byrne P. 2011. An Argument for Practice-Based Public Health Research on Sexually Transmitted Infection Management.Public Health Nursing, 28(4):357-65.
  • O’Byrne P, Watts J*. 2011. Exploring sexual networks: A preliminary look at swingers’ sexual behavior and health care-seeking practices. Canadian Journal of Nursing Research, 43(1):80-97.
  • O’Byrne P. 2011. Self-Directed STI Testing: Providing Non-Invasive Sexual Health Services. Applied Nursing Research, 24:17-21.
  • O’Byrne P, Holmes D. 2011. Desire, Drug Use and Unsafe Sex: A Qualitative Examination of Gay Men Who Attend Gay Circuit Parties. Culture, Health, and Sexuality, 13(1):1-13.
  • O’Byrne P, Watts J*. 2010. Theory and Practice: Examining PHAC’s STI Assessment Guidelines Using Sexual Script Theory.Aporia – The Nursing Journal, 2(4):6-18.
  • Holmes D, O’Byrne P, Murray S. 2010. Faceless Sex: Glory Holes and Sexual Assemblages. Nursing Philosophy, 11:250-9.
  • Holmes D, O’Byrne P. 2010. Subjugated to the ‘Appa­­ratus of Capture’: Self, Sex, and Public Health Technologies. Social Theory & Health, 8(3):246-58.
  • O’Byrne P, Holmes D. 2009. The Microfascism of the Social Contract: Reframing our Understanding Public Health STI Control.Surveillance Society, 7(1):1-13.
  • Gastaldo D, Holmes D, Lombardo A, O’Byrne P. 2009. Unprotected Sex among Men Who Have Sex with Men in Canada: Exploring Rationales and Expanding HIV Prevention. Critical Public Health, 19(3-4):399-416.
  • O’Byrne P, Holmes D. 2009. The Politics of Nursing Care: Correcting Deviance in Accordance with the Social Contract. Policy, Politics, and Nursing Practice, 10(2):153-62.
  • O’Byrne P, Carnegie J. 2008. E-Learning: The Development of Interactive Anatomy Images Using Flash™. Advances in Health Sciences Education, 30(8):e260-71.
  • O’Byrne P, Holmes D. 2008. Researching Marginalized Populations: Ethical Concerns for Ethnography. Canadian Journal of Nursing Research, 40(3):144-59.
  • O’Byrne P, Holmes D, Woodend K. 2008. Understanding Human Sexual Networks: A Critique of the Promiscuity Paradigm.Critical Public Health, 18(3):333-45.
  • Holmes D, Gastaldo D, O’Byrne P, Lombardo A. 2008. Bareback Sex: A Conflation of Risk and Masculinity. International Journal of Men’s Health, 7(2):171-91.
  • O’Byrne P, Dias R. 2008. Urine Drop-Off Testing: A Self-Directed STI Screening Tool. Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality, 17(1-2):53-9.
  • O’Byrne P, MacPherson P. 2008. Understanding HIV viral load: Implications for counselling. Canadian Journal of Public Health, 99(3):189-91.
  • O’Byrne P, Holmes D. 2008. A System’s Change Case Study: Evaluating the Implementation and Sustainability of Crack Pipe Distribution in Canada. Addictions Research & Theory, 16(2):181-92.
  • O’Byrne P. 2008. The Dissection of Risk: A Conceptual Analysis. Nursing Inquiry, 15(1):30-9.
  • O’Byrne P. 2007. The Advantages and Disadvantages of Mixing Methods: An Analysis of Combining Traditional and Auto-Ethnographic Approaches. Qualitative Health Research, 17(10):1381-91.
  • Holmes D, O’Byrne P, Coyte P. 2007. MS3 Squad: Considering Cyborgs for Future Prevention Programs. Body, Space & Technology, 8:e1-9.
  • O’Byrne P, Holmes D. 2007. The Micro-Fascism of Plato’s Good Citizen: Producing (Dis)order through the Construction of Risk. Nursing Philosophy, 8:93-102.
  • Holmes D, O’Byrne P, Gastaldo D. 2007. Setting the Space for Sex: Architecture, Desire and Health Issues in Gay Bathhouses.International Journal of Nursing Studies, 44:273-84.
  • Holmes D, O’Byrne P, Gastaldo D. 2006. Raw Pleasure as Limit Experience: A Foucauldian Analysis of Unsafe Anal Sex between Men. Social Theory & Health, 4:319-33.
  • Holmes D, Perron A, O’Byrne P. 2006. Understanding Disgust in Nursing: Abjection, Self & OtherResearch & Theory for Nursing Practice: An International Journal, 20(4):305-15.
  • Holmes D, O’Byrne P. 2006. The Art of Public Health Nursing: Using Confession Technè in the Sexual Health Domain. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 56(4):1-8.
  • Holmes D, Perron A, O’Byrne P. 2006. Evidence, Virulence, and the Disappearance of Nursing Knowledge: A Critique of the Evidence-Based Dogma. Worldviews on Evidence-Based Nursing, 3(3):95-102.
  • Holmes D, O’Byrne P. 2006. Bareback Sex and the Law: The Difficult Issue of HIV Status Disclosure. Journal of Psychosocial Nursing & Mental Health Services, 44(7):26-33.
  • O’Byrne P, Holmes D. 2005. Re-evaluating Current Health Policy: Alternative Approaches to Sexually Transmitted Infection Testing for Teens and Males who Have Sex with Males. Journal of Public Health Nursing, 22 (6):523-8.

Chapters in Books

  • Holmes D, O’Byrne P. 2012. Resisting the Violence of Stratification:
    Imperialism, War Machines and the Evidence-based Movement. In A. Broom, J. Adams (Eds.), Evidence Based Healthcare in Context: Critical Social Science Perspectives. (p.43-60). Aldershot: Ashgate.
  • O’Byrne P, Woodyatt C*. 2012. Sexual Health Nursing Assessments: Examining the Symbolic Violence of Intimate Exposures. In D Holmes, T Rudge, A Perron (Eds.), Rethinking Violence in Health Care: A Critical Approach. (p.189-200). Aldershot: Ashgate.
  • Holmes D, O’Byrne P, Gastaldo D. 2010. Unspeakable Pleasures: Conducting Research in the RadSex Domain. In I Bourgeault, R Dingwall, R de Vries, (Eds.), Sage Handbook on Qualitative Health Research. (p.673-95). Thousand Oaks: Sage.
  • O’Byrne P. 2010. Eroticizing the abject: Understanding the role of skeeting in sexual practices. In D Holmes, T Rudge (Eds.),Abjectly Boundless. (p.81-101). Surrey: Ashgate.
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