GAY men in Melbourne are having more condomless anal sex with both regular and casual partners, while testing regularly for HIV and treating if they receive a positive diagnosis are also both on the increase, according to this year’s Gay Community Periodic Survey results.

Coordinated by the University of NSW, the survey provides a snapshot every year of gay men and sex, relationships, HIV and substance use.

Significant findings from this year’s survey include an increase in men having condomless anal sex with both regular partners (58 per cent) and casual partners (39 per cent).

Men also reported testing more regularly for HIV, with 73 per cent of men reporting a test in the previous 12 months, and 18 per cent reporting three or more tests.

Victorian AIDS Council chief executive Simon Ruth said the increase in testing was good, but needed to be higher.

“Although this is a good result for testing, it is very important that we continue our efforts to encourage gay men to test every three months to maintain their sexual health,” he said.

Results also indicated a significant increase in HIV-positive men who reported being on effective antiretroviral treatment, from 77 per cent in 2011 to 92 per cent in 2015, and increased numbers of men disclosing their HIV status.

“It is really good to see that the number of HIV-positive guys who are getting on to treatment is continuing to grow over time,” Living Positive Victoria chief executive Brent Allan said.

“Also, the significant increase in disclosure of HIV status between consenting individuals, both HIV-negative and HIV-positive, is consistent with the work being done in Victoria challenging HIV stigma and increasing knowledge around the variety of ways gay guys can decrease their risks around HIV, including PrEP.”

For more information from the survey, see the report online.

What men said, by the numbers: 

Sexual partners in the past year

Six per cent had only casual sex

29 per cent were in monogamous relationships:

30 per cent had casual and regular partners

15 per cent had no sexual relationships with men

How men are meeting men for sex

48 per cent are using mobile apps (up from 24 per cent in 2011)

35 per cent are using the internet

28 per cent meet men in saunas

27 per cent meet men in gay bars

HIV testing

40 per cent of non-HIV-positive men reported a HIV test in the past 12 months

18 per cent of non-HIV-positive men reported three or more HIV tests in the past 12 months (up from 14 per cent in 2014)

9.5 per cent of men reported being HIV-positive

1.3 per cent of men reported not knowing their status

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