More than 90,000 people flocked to Alexandra Gardens in Melbourne to celebrate diversity at Midsumma 2014 - Victoria’s festival for the GLBTI communities.
Burnet was involved in two main activities - recruiting participants for the COUNT Study and spreading ‘safe sex’ messages through our Burnet mascot - GLOVEMAN!
Head of Burnet’s HIV research group, Associate Professor Mark Stoové said the COUNT Study focused on gay and bisexual males because they are the group primarily affected by HIV in Australia.
“People with undiagnosed HIV infection contribute disproportionately to HIV transmission in Australia,” Associate Professor Stoové said.
“This study will deliver HIV testing to gay and bisexual men in community settings through the ongoing Gay Community Periodic Surveys Project with the Kirby Institute, provide test results to consenting participants and estimate the prevalence of HIV and undiagnosed HIV infection.”
Burnet’s researchers received a welcome response from many of the participants who were recruited at Midsumma.
“This study will contribute significantly to reducing the number of undiagnosed HIV infections in Australia and provide strategic knowledge to guide HIV prevention programs,” Associate Professor Stoové said.
Participation is easy. When men complete the Gay Community Periodic Survey they simply need to provide a saliva sample. It’s easy, painless and quick. They can choose to participate anonymously or provide their contact details so that they can know the result of the HIV screening test done on the sample.
Find out more at www.count.org.au.
GLOVEMAN was popular amongst the GLBTI community as a promoter of Burnet’s public health campaign - Protect, Prevent,Test - to raise awareness around safe sex messages while reinforcing the HIV message to test often and frequently. (Image: with Jason from our Public Affairs and Development team).
Researchers Simin and Casey (pictured below) also enjoyed discussing our HIV and public health work at our Burnet stand.
Throughout the Midsumma Festival from 12 January to 2 February more than 130 events will be staged at venues across Melbourne and regional Victoria.