Gay and bisexual men with undiagnosed HIV infections are believed to contribute disproportionately to HIV transmission in Australia. Previous small-scale studies of undiagnosed HIV in Brisbane and Melbourne have found that up to 30% of gay and bisexual men with HIV may be unaware of their infection. However, it is unclear to what extent these estimates of undiagnosed HIV are reliable, and prevalence studies have not been conducted before in cities such as Sydney, Perth and Adelaide. The COUNT study is a national, community-based study of undiagnosed HIV, recruiting gay and bisexual men in six states and territories. Participants provide an oral fluid sample for HIV testing at a laboratory and can choose to receive their results. This presentation will describe the challenges in designing and executing the study and the preliminary results from four states and territories, including preliminary estimates of undiagnosed HIV and the correlates of undiagnosed infection.
Associate Professor Martin Holt has worked at CSRH since 2003. A social scientist by training, his research is concerned with HIV prevention, particularly among gay men, and the negotiation of sex and drug practices. He also researches treatment experiences and the use of technology such as the internet or biomedical technology.