Gay men asked to COUNT themselves in for Fair Day HIV survey
A new study that aims to identify rates of HIV in Australia’s gay community is recruiting across six states and territories, including at the upcoming Brisbane Pride Fair Day.
The UNSW-led COUNT study will also recruit men attending other gay events, bars and clubs.
It is hoped the project, conducted by UNSW’s Centre for Social Research in Health, the Burnet Institute and the Kirby Institute, will lead to a more accurate measure of the proportion of gay and bisexual men who have HIV, and reduce the number of undiagnosed cases.
“For the first time we will get a national snapshot of HIV prevalence in the gay community – among both those aware and unaware of their infection,” says the study’s Associate Professor Martin Holt.
Men choosing to take part in the study are required to provide a saliva sample and have the option to participate anonymously or receive their test result by SMS. The COUNT team will assist with referrals to support services, if required, after the results are delivered.
The COUNT teams will be recruiting in bars, clubs and saunas in Brisbane from September 13 to September 21, as well as at Brisbane Pride Fair Day on September 20.
All gay men at participating events and venues are being asked to take part. This includes all men that have had sex with another man; whether HIV-positive, HIV-negative or unaware of HIV status.
IMAGE: Fair Day 2013. Photo: Brendan Burke