TROPICAL Fruits party goers enjoy dance music and the atmosphere of the New Years celebrations at the Lismore Showground. Photo Jerad Williams / The Northern Star
TROPICAL Fruits party goers enjoy dance music and the atmosphere of the New Years celebrations at the Lismore Showground. Photo Jerad Williams / The Northern Star

Study looks into gay men’s behaviour during pandemic

GAY and bisexual men from the Northern Rivers have been urged to participate in a new research project about behaviour change during the pandemic.

Driven by Dr Mohamed Hammoud from the Kirby Institute in Sydney, Flux Study aims to support health professionals to understand what support the community needs to avoid exposure not just to COVID-19 but also HIV and other health risks.

Dr Hammoud said the survey includes men who identify as cisgender, trans or intersex, aged 16 years or older.

"We are after (participants) gay and bisexual men from all walks of life from all over Australia. Men in capital cities to regional and remote areas, of all ethnicities and cultural backgrounds," he said.

The medico said questions in the study will cover a range of topics.

"The survey covers from your demographics characteristics, HIV and STI testing, drug use, to mental health, sexual behaviour and the participants' social connectedness," he said.

"Questions will also include specific items relating to COVID-19, such as testing for the virus, physical distancing practices, knowledge and belief about the virus and changes in behaviour and personal circumstances because of the virus."

The doctor said the study will assist with monitoring changes in participants' behaviour and circumstances before, during and after the COVID-19 pandemic, and its potential impact on trends in HIV and STIs among gay and bisexual men.

"It will help services to rapidly respond to community needs and potential changes in HIV and STIs," he explained.

"It will also inform governments, community organisations and clinical services to respond to the impacts of COVID-19 in gay and bisexual men in Australia."

Men interested can sign in from the study's website at flux.org.au.



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