The PASH Study collected both quantitative and qualitative data from mainly homosexual men to ascertain their understandings of pleasure and how it affects the decisions they make about sex. Men were recruited from a range of sources including gay community events, online social networking websites, and gay dating websites. A website presented information about the study and provided a gateway to the online survey; men also had the option of being interviewed face-to‐face. 2306 men completed the survey and 40 were interviewed in depth. We explored men’s current understandings of the risk of HIV transmission and their feelings about HIV and AIDS. In particular, we asked men about their motivations for their decisions to use or not use condoms on specific occasions.
- For the most part, the men in this sample were similar to men in other samples of Australian gay men. The patterns of sexual behaviour described in this sample are very similar to findings in other samples of gay men, although the proportion of men reporting unprotected anal intercourse with casual partners in this sample was somewhat lower than has sometimes been found in samples not primarily recruited via the internet.
- Nonetheless, it is worth remembering that these data support the often-noted point that most gay men continue to practise safe sex most of the time.
- Overall, men in this sample had relatively limited social connections with people living with HIV compared with other samples of Australian gay men. Nonetheless, some men were highly connected to gay community life and to the HIV epidemic while others were not.
- Among men who had been tested for HIV, few men were tested because they felt they had placed themselves at risk, although unsurprisingly this was more common among men who had actually engaged in recent risk behaviour.