This study explored how Thai gay men in Sydney perceive and experience HIV risk, and how they managed this risk in their lives as men who are an ethnic minority within the predominantly Anglo-Australian gay community. More specifically, this project explored how Thai gay men in Sydney engage with the gay communities in Sydney and in Thailand, their perceptions and attitudes towards HIV risk, the ways in which they prioritise risk in relation to other aspects of their lives as members of an ethnic community, and the ways in which they negotiate and manage risk in sexual encounters with other men. Data collection and analysis have been completed, and results have been reported. Findings illustrate that HIV testing is not a straightforward matter for Thai gay men in Sydney, and positive attitudes co-exist along with uncertainty and fear, reflecting a degree of ambivalence. For some subgroups of men, specific barriers were noted, including cost and lack of familiarity with services. This study overall points to the importance of promoting sexual health services among Thai gay men in Sydney. At the same time, it is important to understand that the use of services can be attenuated by fears and acknowledge the role partners can play in accessing sexual health services.
NSW Health, Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing
Dr Henrike Korner