New research from the University of NSW has revealed record levels of HIV testing by the Asian gay and bisexual community, highlighting a need for ongoing discussion around their sexual health and relationships.
Findings from the 2015/2016 Gay Asian Men Community Survey (GAMCS) – conducted by Cultural and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) Gay Men’s’ group in partnership with UNSW’s Centre for Social Research in Health – has provided important insight into the sexual health behaviour and racism experienced by Asian gay and homosexually active men in Sydney
The GAMCS addresses an existing gap in research for HIV prevention in gay and homosexually active Asian men, with the last community wide research conducted in 2002.
Findings from the survey will be presented at an upcoming community forum by ACON, NSW’s leading HIV prevention, HIV support and LGBTI* health organisation.
Some of the key results from the GAMCS include:
-92.7% of respondents having ever tested for HIV
-86% of respondents reported testing for HIV within the past 12 months, with 32.5% testing three times or more
-Within the past 12 months, 37.2% experienced racism and 25.4% experienced homophobia
-46% of respondents always use condoms with casual anal sex, and 37.3% reported condomless casual anal sex
-71.6% tested for STIs in the last 12 months with 21.5% reporting a STI diagnosis.
In addition to the findings of the GAMCS, the Annual HIV Surveillance Report 2015 published by the Kirby Institute indicated that men born in South East Asia accounted for 15% of all diagnosis among men who have sex with men, and 44% of new diagnoses among men who have sex with men born overseas.
ACON CEO Nicolas Parkhill says the new research underscores the vital importance of having current data to inform a contemporary, community-led and culturally relevant HIV response for Asian gay men.
“To discuss these important findings and developments as well as hear feedback from the community, ACON is hosting the Finding Our Voice forum,” said ACON’s Asian Gay Men Health Promotion officer Tim Chen.
“We have a panel of guest speakers from diverse backgrounds and fields, representing a wide range of expert voices on sexual health and community. We’ll openly talk about sex, condoms, PrEP, drug use and stigma with the forum emceed by the chair of South Asian LGBT support group Trikone Australasia, Kunal Mirchandani.”