The Victorian AIDS Council (VAC) will once again be conducting the Melbourne Gay Community Periodic Survey at Midsumma Carnival.

The survey which is a significant study of gay and bisexual men’s sexual health in Australia takes a snapshot of gay men’s sexual practices related to the transmission of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV.

The survey is important because it gives a snapshot of the lives of gay and homosexually active men in Melbourne from year to year. It allows comparisons to be made over time and for a picture to emerge of the changes in sexual practices and partnering habits, drug use, HIV and STI rates and testing habits.

The survey will begin at Midsumma Carnival this Sunday January 15 and run until January 22 at a range of locations across Melbourne, including medical clinics, social venues such as pubs and bars, and sex-on-premises venues.

Tex McKenzie from the VAC said:

“All same-sex attracted guys are welcome to participate, including trans guys: gay or bi, HIV-negative or HIV-positive, we want you to fill out the survey. Not all questions need to be answered by everyone. There are specific questions for men who are living with HIV and
general questions that all can answer.

“Look for the survey in bars, dance clubs, medical clinics and sex-on-premises venues in the week after Midsumma Carnival if you don’t see us there.”

VAC CEO Simon Ruth added:

“The information we get every year from the Periodic Survey is invaluable. This data helps us know what issues are affecting our community, and where to focus our efforts when it comes to health promotion—from HIV and STI prevention to mental health and alcohol and drug issues.”

The survey is run by the VAC along with the Centre for Social Research in Health (CSRH) and the Kirby Institute at UNSW.

The survey is completely anonymous, and the results are communicated later in the year via LGBTI and other media, through public meetings and seminars, in online reports, and through journal articles.