surveyA survey looking at the sexual behaviour of the LGBTI community commissioned by the Queensland Health Department will make the rounds at venues around the city this weekend.

The survey is a part of a campaign by the Ministerial Advisory Committee (MAC) on HIV/AIDS that aims to “change behaviours targeting the gay community” and be incorporated by a broader strategy by the Health Department to promote education and reduce stigma.

“For the first time, we are looking for research that identifies understanding and awareness of HIV, stigma towards people living with HIV and barriers around condom use, testing and treatment,” Chair of the MAC Dr Darren Russell said.

The survey conducted by research agency Enhance Research was criticised by the executive director of the Queensland Association for Healthy Communities, Paul Martin, in January, who said the survey “needed to prove credibility.”

Martin also questioned the need for a taxpayer-funded survey when it lacked transparency, independence and expertise, and are other numerous surveys already being conducted that are renowned and respected. Martin asked Enhance Research and the Health Department to release further information about the survey’s methodologies, ethics and review process.

“There are still questions that we have that research can answer, but new research needs to be developed in partnership with service providers and affected communities,” Martin told the Star Observer in January.

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