ASHM Report Back
Clinical posts from members and guests of the Australasian Society for HIV, Viral Hepatitis and Sexual Health Medicine (ASHM) from various international medical and scientific conferences on HIV, AIDS, viral hepatitis, and sexual health.
Day 2: A Changing Sexual Landscape of Gay Asian Men in Sydney: Implications for HIV/STI Prevention
Day 2: Rapid Fire Session Sexuality and Reproductive Health:
Tim Chen – Asian Gay Men’s Project Officer ACON NSW ‘A Changing Sexual Landscape of Gay Asian Men in Sydney: Implications for HIV/STI Prevention’.
Tim discussed the results from a survey conducted between September 2015 and June 2016 for Asian gay and bisexual men. The survey was printed in English and Thai languages and conducted at sexual health services (including a[test]), sex-on-premises venues, forums, workshops and through partnership networks. Some similar research had been conducted in 1999 and 2002 and it was decided there was a need to repeat this survey due to the rising incidence of HIV and STIs among Asian MSM.
The survey this time round was more ethnically diverse than previous years . Although the overall number of Chinese respondents did increase compared to previous years, the proportion of Chinese respondents decreased and a greater proportion of Thai, Indian and Filipino guys completed the survey.
HIV and STI testing rates had increased but less guys were testing at GPs with increased rates of testing observed at community-based testing sites (eg a[test]) and hospitals.
In regards to condoms use, guys reported less anal sex with their regular partners but similar levels of condoms use with these regular partners. More anal sex with casual partners was reported than in previous years with more condomless anal sex.
In conclusion, sexual practices and health-seeking behaviours have changed among Asian MSM in recent years with an increasing rate of condomless anal sex with casual partners (it is worth noting that this study took place before the commencement of the EPIC PrEP trial in NSW).
Community-based testing sites were also shown to be of great importance in ensuring high rates of HIV/STI testing in this population.