The annual Queensland Gay Community Periodic Survey, which asks gay men questions about their sex lives, drug use and relationships, has been completed for 2012.

Now in its 15th year, the survey is conducted by the National Centre in HIV Social Research and the Kirby Institute, and received over 1,100 responses in Brisbane, which was an increase from last year’s efforts.

The survey aims to provide insight into various aspects of the lives, attitudes and practices of gay men and men who have sex with men (MSM), including negotiating sex, drug use, treatment for people living with HIV and awareness of Pre Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) and Post Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP).

Volunteers handed out the survey at a range of venues around Brisbane including the Brisbane Pride Festival Fair Day, The Beat, Sportsmans Hotel and the Wickham.

“For some, the survey is like a gay New Year’s Eve, a reflection on the sexual milestones of the previous year and possible resolutions for the next,” Queensland Association for Healthy Communities survey coordinator Brett Stevens said.

“For many guys though, it provides an impromptu opportunity to up-skill their own knowledge around their own sexual practices, with survey staff on hand to answer questions or to refer on to local services.”

The results from the survey assist a range of community-based and government services in relation to funding allocation, education programs and tracking of any trends that may appear.

Despite having a short time to find volunteers, Stevens was very happy with the amount of results they received.

“It was fantasic that we were able to get that many of responses to the survey. Especially since we had 10 days to recruit staff,” he told the Star Observer.

“It was a really short time frame and we’re very thankful to our volunteers.”

Preliminary feedback from the volunteers handing out the surveys was that many men were still very unaware of HIV exposure pre and post treatments.

“Many guys still reported not really knowing much around PEP and PrEP… and that’s of concern.”

Results will be available towards the end of the year. Last year’s report can be read here

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