Projects

HIV Prevention Initiatives Evaluation

In response to increased notifications of HIV in Victoria over recent years, the Victorian Department of Health (DoH) has funded a range of new HIV prevention initiatives in 2007-2012.

Targeting homosexually active gay men and aimed at reducing HIV/STI risk behaviours as well as increasing health seeking behaviours, these initiatives include extensive social marketing campaigns and the development of capacity within the primary care sector to deliver HIV prevention and testing activities.

These initiatives constitute a considerable investment in tackling an important public health challenge and, as with any major public health initiative, it is important that they are effectively evaluated.

In response, the Burnet Institute, on behalf of the DoH is undertaking an evaluation to asses the effectiveness of current HIV prevention initiatives.

What does the evaluation involve?

A series of online surveys have been completed since 2010 with the current survey live now. We are looking for gay and bisexual men who have lived in Victoria in the past 12 months to complete the survey. The 2016 survey will close in the first week of September. Each participant who completes the survey will go into the draw to win one of two $200 Coles Group vouchers.

Surveys include questions on socio-demographics, sexual behaviours, sexual health knowledge and behaviours, and campaign recognition. In previous years we have conducted focus groups however we will not be conducting any focus groups in 2016.

Who can participate?

Gay men man living in Victoria, aged over 18 are the target audience for these evaluations.

If you have any questions about the results of this study or if you’d like to be added to the participant mailing list, please contact Bridget Draper (bridget.draper@burnet.edu.au).

Timeline

February 2008 – Dec 2011

Results

2009-2011

Over the period from 2009-2011, we undertook an outcome evaluation of five HIV prevention campaigns in Victoria:

These campaigns aimed to:

  • Increase awareness of HIV/STIs
  • Increase access to HIV/STI testing
  • Decrease risk practices
  • Increase community dialogue about HIV risk
  • Reduce HIV/STI transmission among MSM.

Our evaluation of these campaigns focused primarily on campaign recognition, message recall, changes in health-seeking and risk behaviour, and community dialogue.

Methods

To examine the outcomes described above, the evaluation combined four sources of data:

  • A longitudinal online cohort of MSM surveyed three times between April 2009 and August 2011 (28-month period).

  • Focus group discussions with online cohort participants (three time points concurrent with online surveys and again following completion of the final survey)

  • HIV surveillance data, including HIV passive surveillance data, behavioural surveillance data from MGCPS and data from a HIV sentinel network of high MSM caseload clinics to examine changes in HIV testing rates among MSM over the campaign period.

Results

  • There were 242, 390 and 745 participants who completed the surveys at S3, S4 and S5, respectively, over the 28 month period between S3 and S5.

  • The majority of respondents identified as being gay or homosexually active (86-96%), Australian born (79-82%), living in metropolitan Melbourne (90-96%), and with a median age of 31-33 years.

  • The proportion of HIV positive men (9-11%) in the sample was similar at the three survey time points.

Collaborators

Victorian AIDS Council/Gay Men’s Health Centre, People Living With HIV/AIDS Victoria.

The study researchers would like to thank all participants and recruiters for their help in this project.

Funding

This project is funded by the Victorian Department of Health.

Contact Details

For any general enquiries relating to this project, please contact:

Professor Paul Dietze

Program Director, Behaviours and Health Risks

Telephone

+61392822134

Email

paul.dietze@burnet.edu.au