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

The Women's WA Sexual Health Survey (2010)


Chief Investigator


  • Dr Julie Mooney-Somers (NCHECR, University of NSW)

Collaborating Partners

  • AIDS Council of New South Wales (ACON)
  • National Centre in HIV Epidemiological and Clinical Research (NCHECR), The University of New South Wales (UNSW)
  • National Centre in HIV Social Research (NCHSR), UNSW
  • Western Australian AIDS Council (WAAC)


  • Department of Health Western Australia ($34,061; as part of the Perth Gay Community Periodic Survey)

Project Aims

  • To identify health behaviour related to: tobacco, alcohol and illicit drug use; mental health; physical activity; nutrition; sexual health; and cancer screening amongst lesbian and bisexual women in Western Australia.
  • To identify ways in which current health promotion initiatives can more effectively reach lesbian and bisexual women, including behavioural sub-groups within this population group.
  • To identify opportunities for new health promotion interventions that are specific to the health needs of lesbian and bisexual women.


The Women’s WA Sexual Health Survey (WWASHS) is a short survey regarding health issues for women, with a focus on sexual and drug-using practices and several lifestyle measures. The survey will assist to identify and understand changes in sexual behaviour of women who identify as lesbian, bisexual or same sex attracted attached to the Perth gay community. This information is used to help inform health promotion initiatives aimed at this target group. The first large Lesbian and Bisexual Women’s Health and Well Being Survey in Perth was conducted in 2006.

While not identical to the 2006 survey it is hoped that the 2010 WWASHS generates some comparative data. The survey was launched at Fair Day and coincided with other events during Gay Pride month. The survey instrument and protocol replicates that undertaken by the AIDS Council of New South Wales (ACON). This will result in a large two state sample and enable comparisons to be made between the two states. The study was conducted in parallel with the bi-annual Perth Gay Community Periodic Survey (2010). Conducting the two studies in parallel allows for significant cost savings in regard to equipment, training of recruitment staff, and coordination of the study.

Project Overview

This is a cross sectional/prevalence study using a short, self-administered anonymous survey part funded by the Health Department of Western Australia. Women are recruited from gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans and queer community venues and events during Lesbian and Gay Pride month, which is usually held in October each year. Participants include all women who are 16 years and over, live in Perth, or regularly participate in the Perth Lesbian, Bisexual, Trans and Queer (LBTQ) community and are same-sex attracted. Data is collected using a short, self-administered anonymous survey. The same survey is administered in Sydney, allowing for comparisons to be made across the two states.

Current Project Status

Data collection for the 2010 survey is complete and currently being analysed. A total of 1004 women were recruited over three sites during a two week period. The majority of women were recruited at Fair Day (n=866). It is expected that the final report for the 2010 survey will be completed by April 2011.

Associated Projects