Current issues in care and support for HIV-positive gay men in Sydney Academic Article uri icon


  • We explored current access to care among HIV-positive people in Australia. In 2006, 270 HIV-positive gay men from a community-based Positive Health cohort in Sydney were asked about their health (including medical and social) service needs and, subsequently, about difficulty in accessing services. We report the prevalence of specific needs, barriers and associated factors. Participants most commonly used general practitioners (64%) for HIV management and needed at least one HIV-related medical service (usually several: doctors experienced in HIV management, dentists and hospital pharmacies). Most participants were able to access them. Barriers in accessing services were related to their convenience rather than lack or quality. Cost emerged as a substantial barrier to dental care and psychological counselling (91% and 48% respectively of those in need). Need for an HIV-related social service was reported by 46% of respondents. Difficulties in accessing these related to poor services and staff attitudes. Income was associated with limited access to multiple services. In Australia, HIV-related medical service needs outweigh those for social services. Complex health services remain essential to HIV-positive people, but some services are currently not meeting their needs. To remain adequate, services need to understand and constantly adapt to the changing needs of HIV-positive people.


  • Zablotska, I
  • Frankland, A
  • Imrie, J
  • Adam, P
  • Westacott, R
  • Canavan, P
  • Prestage, G

publication date

  • September 2009