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Curtin University
Collaboration for Evidence, Research and Impact in Public Health

Perth Gay Community Periodic Survey (2002-2010)

Investigators:

Chief Investigators

  • Dr Graham Brown (WACHPR, Curtin University)
  • Dr Martin Holt (NCHSR, UNSW)
  • Associate Professor Garrett Prestage (NCHECR, UNSW and ARCSHS, La Trobe University)
  • Dr Iryna Zablotska-Manos (NCHECR, UNSW)
  • Ms Jude Comfort (WACHPR, Curtin University)
  • Ms Trish Langdon (WAAC)

Collaborating Partners

  • Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society (ARCSHS), La Trobe University
  • National Centre in HIV Epidemiology and Clinical Research (NCHECR), The University of New South Wales (UNSW)
  • National Centre in HIV Social Research (NCHSR), UNSW
  • Western Australian AIDS Council (WAAC)

Funding

  • Department of Health Western Australia ($34,061)

Project Aims

  • To identify if associations exist between the variables of casual and regular relationships, knowledge of HIV status, connection to the gay community, and negotiation of sexual behaviour, actual sexual behaviour and condom use.
  • To identify changes in sexual negotiation and behaviour amongst Perth gay men since 1998.
  • To identify if behavioural trends identified in other Australian cities / states, particularly increases in unprotected anal intercourse with casual partners, are being experienced in Perth.

Background

The Perth Gay Community Periodic Survey (PGCPS) is part of a larger project to identify and understand changes in sexual behaviour of men attached to the Perth gay community. This information is used to help inform health promotion initiatives aimed at this target group. The PGCPS has been conducted on a biannual basis in Perth since 1998 and is a collaborative project between the National Centre in HIV Epidemiology and Clinical Research and National Centre in HIV Social Research, the University of New South Wales, the WACHPR, Curtin University and the Western Australian AIDS Council. The survey is launched at Fair Day and coincides with other events during the month of Pride.

Project Overview

This is a cross sectional/prevalence study using a short, self-administered anonymous survey funded by the Health Department of Western Australia. Men are recruited from gay community venues, events and sexual health clinics during Lesbian and Gay Pride month, which is usually held in October each year. Participants are males over the age of 16 years, who have had sex with other man within the past six months and either live in Perth or actively participate in the Perth gay community. Data is collected using a short, self-administered anonymous survey. The same survey is administered in Sydney and Melbourne, allowing for comparisons to be made across the three states. Trends within Perth and across the three states can also be identified as the same survey has been implemented since 1998.

Key Outcomes

2010
Data collection for the 2010 survey is complete and currently being analysed. Nine hundred and twenty two men were recruited over four sites during a two week period. The majority of men were recruited at Fair Day (n=676). It is expected that the final report for the 2010 survey will be completed by April 2011.

2000-2008
Some of the findings outlined by Zablotska et al. 2009 include:

  • 83.2% of respondents had been tested for HIV
  • 4.4% of respondents identified as being HIV positive
  • 37.4% reported having a regular partner
  • 18.6% reported having a casual partner
  • 25.1% reported having both regular and casual partners
  • 34.2% of men had unprotected anal intercourse with casual partners
  • Since 2000, there has been an increase in the proportion of men who reported having unprotected anal intercourse.

1998-2000
There have been a number of significant changes observed in the Perth gay community over the past few years. Some of the pertinent findings outlined by Brown et al. 2000, include:

  • Approximately ¼ of respondents had only casual partners
  • ¼ had only a regular partner
  • ¼ quarter had both regular and casual partners
  • The majority of men did not have any unprotected anal intercourse with either regular or casual partners
  • 86.9% of respondents had been tested for HIV
  • 4.9% of respondents identified as being HIV positive
  • Of those who reported being HIV positive, 60.7% had been tested for HIV within the past 12 months
  • Testing patterns had not significantly changed from 1998-2000
  • Those with casual partners or multiple partners were more likely to have been tested recently than those with only a regular or a single casual partner
  • 48% of respondents had at least one instance of taking a party drug in the last six months.

Associated Projects

Publications

  • Brown, G. & Maycock, B. (2005) Different spaces, same faces: Perth gay men’s experiences of sexuality, risk and HIV. Culture, Health and Sexuality, 7,(1),59-72.
  • Brown, G., Maycock, B. & Burns, S. (2005) Your Picture is Your Bait: Use and Meaning of Cyberspace Amongst Gay Men. Journal of Sex Research, 42,(5),63-73.
  • Brown, G., Maycock, B., Prestage, G. & Van de Ven, P. (2004) Sex in two cities - Gay men, risk and HIV in Perth and Sydney. Asia Pacific Journal of Public Health,16,(1),3-8.
  • Brown, G., Maycock, B. & Langdon, T. (2003) ”Must be doing something right?” Perth gay men’s experiences of sexuality, risk and HIV, Western Australia Centre for Health Promotion Research, Curtin University, Perth. ISBN 1 74067 266 6.
  • Brown, G., Maycock, B., Van de Ven, P., Prestage, G., Langdon, T. & Shaw, T. (2001) Perth Gay Community Survey 2000. Western Australian Centre for Health Promotion Research, Curtin University, Perth. ISBN 1 74067 049 3.
  • Brown, G., Maycock, B., Van de Ven, P., Prestage, G., Langdon, T. & Shaw, T. (2000) Perth Gay Periodic Survey: 2000. WA AIDS Council, Perth.
  • Hull, P., Brown, G., Prestage, G., Rawstorne, P., Kippax, S. & Langdon, T. (2004) Gay Community Periodic Survey – Perth 2002. National Centre in HIV Social Research, The University of New South Wales, Sydney. ISBN 1 875978 82 8.
  • Hull, P., Brown, G., Van de Ven, P., Prestage, G., Rawstorne, P., Kippax, S. & Langdon, T. (2003) Gay Community Periodic Survey – Perth 2002. National Centre in HIV Social Research, The University of New South Wales, Sydney. ISBN 1 875978 61 5.
  • Zablotska, I., Brown, G., Frankland, A., Prestage, G. & Langdon, T. (2009). Gay Periodic Survey: Perth 2008. National Centre in HIV Social Research, The University of New South Wales, Sydney.
  • Zablotska, I., Brown, G., Frankland, A., Prestage, G. & Langdon, T. (2007). Gay Community Periodic Survey: Perth 2006 (GCPS Report 3/2007). National Centre in HIV Social Research, The University of New South Wales, Sydney.

Conference Presentations

  • Brown, G. (2009) Perth Gay Community Periodic Survey 2008. WA Sexual Health Forum, Community Forum, Perth.
  • Brown, G. (2007) Perth Gay Community Periodic Survey 2006. WA Sexual Health Forum, Community Forum, Perth.
  • Brown, G. (2005) Perth Gay Community Periodic Survey 2004. WA Sexual Health Forum, Community Forum, Perth.
  • Brown, G. (2003) Perth Gay Community Periodic Survey 2002. WA Sexual Health Forum, Community Forum, Perth.
  • Brown, G. (2001) Perth Gay Community Periodic Survey 2000. WA Sexual Health Forum, Community Forum, Perth.
  • Brown, G., Maycock, B. (2004) Sex in two cities: Gay men, risk and HIV in Perth and Sydney (Oral Presentation). World Health Promotion and Education Conference, Melbourne.