Sexual Health and Behaviour

ManCount findings suggest that a majority of participants were actively avoiding HIV
transmission in a range of ways but there were evident inconsistencies. Given the persistently high prevalence of HIV in the population such inconsistencies have the potential to be random opportunities for viral transmission.

In ManCount the main issues appeared to be doubtful risk reduction practices, faulty assumptions and miscommunication. The data paint their picture of Vancouver’s scene based on explicit questions which provide behavioural clues about the population’s experience with HIV and prevention. Due to this specific focus, however, ManCount does not shed much light on the attitudes, motivations, beliefs or values of its respondents. Most studies of this type show that the majority of gay men have more than one sexual partner over a six month period.

HIV Prevalence by Age Group

Top Sex Seeking

About a third of ManCount men had 1 or no partners over a six month period, a third had 2 to 5 and another third had more than 5 (some many more). About 70% of ManCount men reported anal sex over this period. 58% of them said they used condoms on the most recent occasion.

A substantial portion of the men who positive men reported that they took anti-retroviral (ARV) medications over the previous 6 months–a practice thought to reduce viral load and potential transmission. Asking about HIV status prior to sex (to arrange informed consent or samestatus partnering) appeared to be as common among positive men as negative. The likelihood of unprotected sex tended to increase with the volume of casual partners. 21% of ManCount men reported unprotected casual sex with unknown or different status partners. Less than a third of those with 2-5 partners over the period reported such events compared to more than half of men with 10 or more partners.