Flux (Following Lives Undergoing Change) Study

Date Commenced:
September 2014
Project Status
Expected Date of Completion:
Project Supporters


Currently recruiting
image - Flux 284

About the Project

Issues like friendship and feeling connected, drug use, and mental health affect all of us in the gay community, and beyond. We want to explore what you, and your friends, think about these issues, and how they affect people's decisions - your decisions - over the next couple of years. We will also investigate why some men enjoy taking certain drugs, why some men don’t take drugs, and how those choices affect other parts of their lives, both good and bad.

  • To identify contextual and individual factors associated with uptake and recreational use of drugs, particularly those identified as being associated with HIV risk behaviour and HIV infection, among gay and bisexual men (GBM),and associations with risk behaviours, over time.
  • To describe the relationship between social and community norms, and the shared understandings of risk and pleasure, and drug use behaviours and beliefs among GBM with differing social connections to other GBM.
  • A3. To describe the role of particular gay community subcultures, sexual and social networks, in influencing attitudes and beliefs about drug use and in affecting drug-using behaviours.
Design & Method

While the primary aim is to measure incidence of the uptake of drug use, Flux will also measure incidence of the cessation of drug use, and the changes in drug use patterns. We will therefore seek to follow up all participants regardless of their drug use patterns at baseline. We will recruit 2300+ GBM to complete the baseline questionnaire, of whom at least 1500 will be enrolled for follow-up in the Flux study. Data collected from the 800 men who do not enrol into the study proper will be available for cross sectional analyses of the baseline data. We will ask enrolled participants to complete 6-monthly follow-up questionnaires. Enrolled participants will also be asked to consent to data linkage to specified health databases (HIV registry and hospital admissions); we anticipate about 900 men will consent to this request. To ensure minimum follow-up time (1.5 years), we will need to have enrolled all 1500 participants by end of June 2015. This will require the following to occur:

2014: 1000 men completed baseline questionnaire, including 650 enrolled into Flux.
2015: 1300 men completed baseline questionnaire, including 850 enrolled into Flux by June 30th.


Baseline survey


Data Linkage


 2014 July-Dec





 2015 Jan-June





2015 July-Dec





 2016 Jan-June





 2016 July-Dec






This plan provides the basis for multi-level participation: 2300 men will participate in the cross-sectional baseline survey to permit simple analysis of associations between drug using behaviour and other factors; 1350 men will provide some follow-up data to permit analyses of predictors of changes in drug use behaviours (uptake of use, cessation of use, switch of drug types); and 910 men will provide consent to data linkage to permit analysis of clinical outcomes (HIV and HCV infection, and hospital admissions).

image - Flux (Following Lives Undergoing Change) Study

In addition to incident cases of commencement and discontinuation of drug use, this structure will provide the capacity to track changes in use of specific drugs, attitudes toward drug use, associated risk factors, and any harmful outcomes or other consequences.


Project is launched and recruiting.


the Australian gay and bisexual men’s community


reports will be made to the funding bodies, and community will be notified directly (via emails and newsletters to the participants) and through media and the gay press

Project Members
image - 1338427663 Jack Bradley Without Dog
Project Officer
Ph +61 (0)2 9385 0941
image - Mo Hammoud 220415
PhD Candidate
Ph +61 (02) 9385 9972
Other Investigators

Toby Lea (CSRH), Marcus Pastorelli (ACON), Colin Batrouney (VAC), Nicky Bath (NUAA), Louisa Degenhardt (NDARC), Jeffrey Grierson

Project Collaborators: External


Victorian AIDS Council



ARCSHS at La Trobe

Social Research Centre in Health at UNSW

Project Contacts

Related Projects