Gay youth and their precautionary sexual behaviors: The Sydney Men and Sexual Health study Academic Article uri icon


  • Many commentators have positioned Western gay youth as a high-risk group for HIV infection and obscured important cultural, social, and contextual differences between populations. This study compares risk of HIV transmission factors among 216 young (under 25 years) and 822 older (25 years or over) homosexually active men, recruited through Sydney gay community and other sources. Bivariate and multivariate analyses of survey data that were collected by personal interviews consistently supported our hypothesis of no difference in HIV-related risk factors between young and older men. Although young men in this cohort were more likely to be of unknown serostatus, they were at least as knowledgeable, as attached to gay community, and as precautionary in their sexual behaviors with regular and casual male partners as their older counterparts. Safety campaigns targeting these young gay men should focus, for example, on their lower rates of HIV antibody testing and not be based on a false premise of hedonistic, uninformed, and disenfranchised youth.


  • Van De Ven, P
  • Noble, J
  • Kippax, S
  • Prestage, G
  • Crawford, J
  • Baxter, D
  • Cooper, D

publication date

  • October 1, 1997