About the Project
HIV/STI risk reduction is more likely to occur if community norms regarding risk reduction are supportive and are shared in the community. There is a lack of research on the social norms regarding HIV/STI related behaviours among MSM. The CONNECT Study investigated norms and acceptability of risk reduction strategies in Australian gay communities.
1. To identify the patterns of connections between individuals in communities of men who have sex with men (MSM) and assess the association of these connections with the HIV/STI risk and risk reduction behaviours among MSM.
2. To describe the relationship between social norms and the HIV/STI risk and risk reduction behaviours among MSM with differing degrees and types of connections to other MSM both within and outside gay communities.
3. To compare the patterns of connections, social norms and risk reduction behaviours of geographically and epidemiologically distinct populations of MSM in three Australian states, in order to identify local barriers to effective HIV prevention.
Design & Method
This is a multicentre cross-sectional quantitative study. Data collection sites are based in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth. Recruitment is conducted using respondent driven sampling (RDS). Each participant is required to complete an online questionnaire concerning social and sexual practices, relationships and norms regarding these practices.
The CONNECT study will provide useful information to inform state and local HIV prevention services in Australia to better target and thus increase the effectiveness of the current health promotion interventions for MSM.
Preliminary findings have been presented at Australasian Sexual Health Conferences in 2010 and 2011.
Dr Iryna Zablotska-Manos
Dr Michelle McKechnie - Samra
Mr Matthew O'Dwyer
Ph +61 (0)2 9385 0939
John De Wit, Graham Brown, Bruce Maycock, Alden Klovdahl, Christopher Fairley, Jeffery Grierson
Project Collaborators: External
Aids Council of New South Wales (ACON)
Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations (AFAO)
New South Wales Department of Health
Victorian AIDS Council (VAC)
People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA)
Western Australian AIDS Council (WAAC)
Western Australia Department of Health