AIDS and Behavior

, Volume 18, Issue 8, pp 1436–1442 | Cite as

At Home and Away: Gay Men and High Risk Sexual Practices

  • Iryna B. ZablotskaEmail author
  • Martin Holt
  • John de Wit
  • Limin Mao
  • Ian Down
  • Garrett Prestage
Original Paper


We aimed to describe HIV risk practices of gay men who travel locally, regionally and overseas. We analysed data from the Sydney Gay Community Periodic Survey 2009 about high-risk sexual practices in four locations (locally, while travelling in NSW, Australia and overseas) and with partners of HIV positive, negative and unknown serostatus in each location. Analyses of associations used generalized log-binomial estimation procedures with Type I error of 5 %. Of 1,839 sexually active participants, 70.1 % reported having sex locally. 19.7 % elsewhere in NSW, 20.1 % interstate and 18 % overseas. Unprotected anal intercourse (UAI) was reported by 29.9, 28.6, 21.3 and 19.3 % of men in each location respectively. There was no difference in the levels of UAI locally and elsewhere in NSW, but UAI levels were lower in other Australian locations [adjusted prevalence rate ratio (APRR) = 0.76; 95 % confidence interval (95 % CI) 0.66–0.88] and overseas (APRR = 0.76; 95 % CI 0.65–0.89). UAI was more likely if partners were seroconcordant HIV positive (APRR = 1.67; 95 % CI 1.32–2.11) and less likely if partners were of different HIV serostatus (APRR = 0.39; 95 % CI 0.33–0.47) as compared to seroconcordant HIV negative partners. UAI was associated with group sex and use of party drugs. In this community sample, UAI levels were higher in the local context than in travel destinations, suggesting that familiarity between partners may play a role. High-risk sexual practices can nevertheless contribute to bridging different HIV epidemics and HIV transmission across borders. HIV prevention programs should develop effective approaches to target sexually adventurous gay men and HIV transmission associated with travel.


HIV Gay men Unprotected anal intercourse Travel 



The authors would like to acknowledge the key community partners—the AIDS Council of NSW (ACON) and Positive Life NSW for being instrumental in the conduct of the Gay Community Periodic Surveys. Particularly, we would like to acknowledge the Hunter New England Area Health Service and South–South East Illarawara AHS in NSW for their contribution to the study design and data collection. Many thanks go to all study participants for sharing their life experiences with the research team. Gay Community Periodic Survey in New South Wales (NSW), Australia, was funded by the NSW Department of Health. The Kirby Institute and the National Centre in HIV Social Research receive project funding from the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing. The views expressed in this publication do not necessarily represent the position of the Australian Government.

Conflict of interest



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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Iryna B. Zablotska
    • 1
    • 4
    Email author
  • Martin Holt
    • 2
  • John de Wit
    • 2
  • Limin Mao
    • 2
  • Ian Down
    • 1
  • Garrett Prestage
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.The Kirby InstituteUniversity of New South WalesSydneyAustralia
  2. 2.National Centre in HIV Social ResearchUniversity of New South WalesSydneyAustralia
  3. 3.Australian Research Centre in Sex Health and SocietyLa Trobe UniversityMelbourneAustralia
  4. 4.The Kirby InstituteUniversity of New South WalesDarlinghurstAustralia

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