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Sydney gay men sought for HIV study

Sydney gay men sought for HIV study

Gay men in Sydney, Australia are being sought to take part in one of the longest running studies of health and wellbeing in a location specific LGBT community.

The Sydney Gay Community Periodic Survey has been running since 1996 and is designed to improve the understanding of gay male health issues by gathering data on sexual behavior, sexual health, drug use, and community engagement.

The Periodic Survey occurs twice a year and is conducted by the National Center in HIV Social Research and the Kirby Institute with ACON and Positive Life NSW.

The study forms a vital part of NSW’s HIV response by enabling LGBT community health organization ACON (formerly the state AIDS council of New South Wales) and other organizations to measure the level of risky behavior being practiced in the community every six months.

The survey began on Friday 16 August and will continue through to Sunday 25 August.

Recruiters will be visiting LGBT venues throughout Sydney, including clinics, bars, clubs, sex on premises venues and gyms frequented by gay men.

ACON CEO Nicolas Parkhill said more than 5,000 surveys for the study are filled out by gay men in Sydney each year.

‘These surveys give us a very useful picture of how gay men in our community are living their lives,’ Parkhill said.

‘This is important for an organization like ACON, so we can be aware of any social, sexual, or drug-use trends that are developing which then allows us to respond with appropriate health-promotion messages.

‘Our recruiters also, generally, visit the same venues during each survey period so that we get similar groups of people participating each time. This helps us to track behavioral trends more effectively.

‘So if you are approached by one of our recruiters, please take part in the survey. It only takes 10 minutes, is completely confidential, and will help us keep our community as healthy as possible.’

The Kirby Institute is named in honor of retired openly gay Australian High Court judge Michael Kirby.