Gay Men's Sex Survey Reveals That Two Thirds Of Men Have Had An HIV Test

November 11, 2009

Today sees the launch of a new report called Testing targets: findings from the United Kingdom Gay Men's Sex Survey 2007. The survey was carried out by Sigma Research and commissioned by Terrence Higgins Trust (THT), on behalf of the CHAPS partnership. It is the largest survey of its kind in the world, with over 6,000 men taking part.

The findings indicate a big increase in the number of gay men who have ever had an HIV test. Whereas less than half of all men surveyed in 2002 said they'd ever tested for HIV, the latest findings shows that 66% of men confirmed they have had an HIV test.

Among men that had ever tested, one-in-seven (15.2%) had tested positive for HIV infection. Testing for HIV and testing positive for HIV were most common among men living in London, men in their 30s and 40s and men with 30 or more male partners in the last year. However, testing and testing positive was common among all groups of gay men and in all regions of the UK.

Marc Thompson, Deputy Head of Health Promotion at Terrence Higgins Trust said: "A third of gay men have never tested and with a quarter of gay men with HIV unaware they are infected, the Gay Men's Sex Survey is vitally important when it comes to planning future sexual health campaigns and HIV prevention work. It's now recommended that gay men test at least once a year, or after any unprotected sex so if you have any concerns about your sexual health consider getting tested so you know for sure."

Dr. Ford Hickson from Sigma Research said: "We want to say a big thank to you everyone who contributed to the survey including the 130 organisations that collaborated with us and all the men that took the time to complete it. It's crucial that we hear first hand about the experiences of gay men when it comes to sexual health. The survey is taking a break this year but keep an eye out for 2010 when it will be part of a pan-European version undertaken in up to 20 languages."

The report is available to download (or order for postal delivery) at here.

The annual Gay Men's Sex Survey has been undertaken as part of the CHAPS programme since 1997. For more information go to http://www.gmss.org.uk

For more information on HIV testing and sexual health clinics visit http://www.thinkhiv.co.uk.

Notes

- The Gay Men's Sex Survey is undertaken by Sigma Research and commissioned by Terrence Higgins Trust as part of the CHAPS programme. CHAPS is funded by the Department of Health and is a partnership of community-based organisations, which carry out HIV health promotion work with gay men in England and Wales.

- The CHAPS partnership also includes the Armistead Project (Liverpool), the Eddystone Trust (Devon), GMFA (London), Lesbian and Gay Foundation (Manchester), Sheffield Centre for HIV and Sexual Health, Terrence Higgins Trust (Birmingham, Brighton, Bristol, London and Wales), Trade Men's Sexual Health Project (Leicester), and Yorkshire MESMAC.

Source
Terrence Higgins Trust


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