Gay Community Periodic Surveys

Project Status: Current
People Involved: Martin Holt, Toby Lea, Limin Mao, Evelyn Lee, Timothy Broady
Research Areas: HIV & Sexual Health Risk & Risk Reduction
Funding Agency: ACT Health, NSW Health, Queensland Department of Health, WA Health, Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing, SA Health, Tasmanian Department of Health and Human Services
Partners / Collaborators: The Kirby Institute

The Gay Community Periodic Surveys are repeated, cross-sectional surveys of gay men, conducted in the metropolitan areas of seven Australian states and territories.

They are a key part of Australia’s behavioural surveillance system for HIV, monitoring sexual practices, drug use and patterns of testing for HIV and other STIs. The first periodic survey was conducted in Sydney in 1996, and surveys are now conducted regularly in Adelaide, Canberra, Melbourne, Perth, Queensland and Sydney.  Recruitment was conducted for the first time in Tasmania in 2014. The surveillance system relies on a longstanding collaboration between CSRH, The Kirby Institute, state health departments, and national and state community organisations. Recruitment is typically coordinated in each state/territory by a local community organisation. Participants are recruited from gay community events, bars, sex venues, gyms and clinics by teams of trained peer recruiters.  Online recruitment was added in 2014 and the surveys now have an online presence (see  The results of each survey are published in an individual state or territory report while national trends are presented in our Annual Report of Trends in Behaviour.

For media enquiries, please contact Professor Martin Holt on or +61 2 9385 6410.


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Adapting behavioural surveillance to antiretroviral-based HIV prevention: reviewing and anticipating trends in the Australian Gay Community Periodic Surveys. (Published in Sexual Health, 2017).

Community-level changes in condom use and uptake of HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis by gay and bisexual men in Melbourne and Sydney, Australia: results of repeated, behavioural surveillance in 2013-17. (Published in Lancet HIV, 2018).

The use of mobile phone apps to meet sex partners by Australian gay and bisexual men: an analysis of sex-seeking repertoires and risks for HIV and STIs using behavioural surveillance data. (Published in Sexually Transmitted Infections, 2016).

Methamphetamine use among gay and bisexual men in Australia: trends in recent and regular use from the Gay Community Periodic Surveys.(Published in International Journal of Drug Policy, 2016).

Social and behavioural correlates of HIV testing among Australian gay and bisexual men in regular relationships. (Published in AIDS and Behavior, 2015).

HIV prevention by Australian gay and bisexual men with casual partners: the emergence of undetectable viral load as one of a range of risk reduction strategies. (Published in Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes, 2015).

Estimating antiretroviral treatment coverage rates and viral suppression rates for homosexual men in Australia. (Published in Sexual Health, 2015).

Alcohol use among a community-based sample of gay and bisexual men: correlates of high-risk use and implications for service provision. (Published in Drug and Alcohol Review, 2015).

Younger age, recent HIV diagnosis, no welfare support, and no annual sexually transmissible infection screening are associated with non-use of antiretroviral treatment among HIV-positive gay men in Australia. (Published in HIV Medicine, 2015).