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Get ready for the periodic survey at Fairday

Fairday

The Gay Community Periodic Survey is upon us!  Since 1996 tens of thousands of gay and bisexual men across Australia have been asked to cough up the most intimate and personal details about their sex lives.  And every two years, hundreds of Perth guys put pen to paper and do just that.

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But why would they?  And why should you do it?

The questions are pretty nosy.  Oh, you’ll be asked some pretty candid questions:  about your HIV status, how many sexual partners you’ve had this year, what kind of sex you had with them, whether you were safe – and whether you knew your partner’s HIV status.  You’ll be asked about how many STIs you might have contracted this year, and whether you shared that information with your sexual partners.  And you’ll be asked what you know about PEP, and PrEP.

(Technically, the survey focuses on sexual behaviour, nature of sexual relationships, HIV testing practices and sero-status, aspects of social attachment to the gay community, and a number of demographic items.  But potato, patahto, right?)

Far too intrusive, clearly.  So why do it?

Well firstly, it’s completely and totally and utterly anonymous – it’s impossible to match any questionnaire to any person.  In fact, no one in Perth will ever see the survey paper again once you’ve filled it out.  Once you’ve sealed the envelope, it’s whisked off to the researchers.

Secondly, and importantly, the results of the survey creates a snapshot in time: of sexual attitudes, beliefs, behaviours and knowledge of gay and bisexual men in our community.  This is vitally important to directly inform the development of effective health promotion and community development strategies right here in Western Australia.  The results enable the WA AIDS Council to respond to important changes in sexual negotiation and behaviour, and what HIV means today in the gay community.

But hey, loads of you guys already know this.  Some of you good folk have been (anonymously) open about your sex lives every couple of years for a couple of decades now.

So if you’re approached this month at Fairday or at your local hangout by a charming individual wielding a clipboard and asked if you wouldn’t mind filling in a survey, think about the positive impact your five minute contribution can have on the community around you, and go for it.

Pride Fairday is in Hyde Park on Sunday February 7th

WA AIDS Council , sponsored content    

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