ACON, NSW’s leading HIV organisation, is calling on Asian gay men and men who have sex with men in NSW to participate in vital research into their sexual health and wellbeing.
The Gay Asian Men’s Survey 2021 (GAMS) aims to collect responses from gay, bisexual and queer men (cis and trans) with an Asian background, on a range of issues including HIV and sexual health, sexual practices, relationships and other behaviours. Data collected from the survey will inform programs that improve the health and wellbeing of Asian men in LGBTQ communities.
ACON CEO Nicolas Parkhill said the landmark survey provides important insights on key sexual health issues affecting the Asian gay male community.
“As we observe declines in rates of HIV transmission and other improvements in sexual health generally across men in our communities, these are unfortunately not being reflected as well amongst overseas-born gay men, particularly from Asian backgrounds,” Parkhill said.
“We know that from NSW Health HIV data over the past few years that men in our communities with an Asian background continue to face barriers to appropriate HIV prevention messaging, treatment and care.
“Previous experiences of criminalisation, fear of disclosure, visa precariousness, Medicare ineligibility, experiences of racism and isolation, and of course language barriers, all impact on someone’s ability to negotiate safe sex and access testing and treatment options.”
With a strong focus on culture, race and migration, this year’s GAMS aims to gather information from men with an Asian background on HIV and sexual health, as well as their behaviours on HIV and STI testing, and HIV treatment.
“The data collected from this survey will help us and our community research partners in identifying key priorities, and in the development of community-led and community-focused HIV responses,” Parkhill added.
“Over the years, ACON has been able to engage with and develop close relationships with Asian men in our communities through our HIV prevention and testing campaigns and services that deliver culturally appropriate messages, while our peer education programs continue to see very high engagement.
“But we know that more needs to be done to enhance our understanding, so we urge Asian men to participate in this survey; it will allow us to continue tailoring and delivering effective and culturally appropriate HIV and sexual health resources and programs.”
GAMS is for men (cis and trans) aged 18 years or above, who have had sex with other men in the past five years, are currently living in NSW, and self-identify as having an Asian background.
The survey will be conducted online and is available in four languages including English, Chinese (simplified), Chinese (traditional) and Thai. Complete the survey for a chance to win one of ten $100 Visa gift cards.
GAMS 2021 is funded by the Blood-Borne Viruses & STI Research, Intervention and Strategic Evaluation Program (BRISE), and supported by the Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Gay Men’s Action Group, which consists of ACON, UNSW Sydney’s Centre for Social Research in Health, Metro Sydney-based Local Health Districts, and the Multicultural HIV and Hepatitis Service.
To access GAMS 2021, go to www.gayams.org.au.