Sexual health promotion needs of young gay and bisexual men in Australia


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Dr Philippe Adam reports on the 'How Much do you Care?' study by the National Centre in HIV Social Research at the University of New South Wales. This presentation was given at the Young Gay Men's Symposium at the Promises & Limitations conference, Sydney, February 2014.

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Sexual health promotion needs of young gay and bisexual men in Australia

  1. 1. Sexual health promotion needs of young gay and bisexual men in Australia Centre for Social Research in Health Dr Philippe Adam UNSW Centre for Social Research in Health These data will be presented at the13th Social Research Conference on HIV, Viral Hepatitis and Related Diseases, Feb 20-21 2014, Sydney
  2. 2. How much do you care? - Methods • • • Conducted online between April and October 2011 840 eligible participants divided around the median age into ‘younger’ (16-26 years) men and ‘older’ (27 years and over) men We compared the situation of younger versus older gay men in terms of:  HIV/STI knowledge  Intention to use condoms and sexual risk-taking  Testing for HIV/STIs  Exposure to sexual health campaigns
  3. 3. How much do you care? – Key findings Data…  Younger gay men reported lower levels of HIV/STI knowledge than older gay men (Mean=5.0 vs. 5.7, range 0-10)  Younger and older men did not differ intention to use condoms (M= 4.6, range 1-5) nor in UAIR reports (around 40%) or UAIC reports (around 25%).  Younger men were less often tested for HIV/STIs than older men (68% vs. 94%) and only 40% of younger men test routinely for HIV (vs 62% among older gay men  Almost a quarter (23%) of younger men had not been exposed to campaigns promoting HIV testing. Interpretation… Poor knowledge and low testing rates among sexually active younger gay men were related to lack of exposure to HIV campaigns reported by almost a quarter of participants. Increasing the coverage of sexual health programs among younger gay men is required.
  4. 4. Implication for health promotion? • Does this mean that younger men ‘just need’ more campaigns providing information about HIV and promoting condoms and HIV testing? Could some campaigns for older gay men used in the past be recycled? • Past efforts have focused on older sexually adventurous gay men presenting low ability/intention to change and behavioural changes approaches have not frequently been used in Australia • The project is now to start fresh with new sexual health promotion approaches for a generation of younger men who are interested in HIV prevention and have the ability/willingness to learn and adapt  Examples of translational approaches that could be used
  5. 5. CyberSEXproject Understanding risk with partners met online Sexual risk-taking is frequent among gay men who find partners online. A survey was conducted to understand factors and processes associated with sexual risk-taking with partners met online. Results indicate that the dynamic of online chatting and fantasising can create risk over and above men’s intention. Non-premeditated risk can be explained by lack of self regulation of online conduct Source: CSRH Cybersex study, 932 eligible participants recruited in 2012
  6. 6. Chat Smart Intervention Study CSRH and AFAO Chat Smart Study is an evidence-informed and theory-driven online intervention tested for efficacy within a RCT. The study is conducted by the UNSW Centre for Social Research in Health And the Australian Federation of Aids Organisations Status: Launch is pending The aim is to promote self-regulation of online conduct among gay and bisexual men 18-29 years old who have the intention to use condoms with their partners met online but experience difficulties translating these intentions into practice.
  7. 7. Conclusion • Behavioural HIV prevention interventions have the potential of being highly effective among younger gay and bisexual men if these interventions are deployed with sufficient coverage and intensity and are both evidence-informed and theory-driven • There is a need to explore new ways of doing sexual health promotion in strong partnership between HIV prevention research and practice