School of Population Health

Gay Men’s Sexual Health (GMSH) Research Group - studies

GAPSS and GOSS ongoing surveys / Te Rangahau Tane ai Tane

The Gay Auckland Periodic Sex Survey (GAPSS) and Gay men’s Online Sex Survey (GOSS) are anonymous repeat cross-sectional programmes that monitor trends in HIV risk behaviours among gay, bisexual, takataapui and other men who have sex with men (MSM) in New Zealand.

The surveys are funded by the Ministry of Health and undertaken collaboratively by the University of Auckland, University of Otago AIDS Epidemiology Group, and New Zealand AIDS Foundation. They are guided by UNAIDS/WHO principles of second-generation HIV behavioural surveillance and have three main aims:

  • to explain patterns in HIV diagnoses in New Zealand
  • to evaluate HIV prevention by monitoring condom use and testing, including disparities between subgroups of MSM
  • to forewarn of emerging HIV and STI risks and enable a timely response

GAPSS has recruited participants from gay community events, gay bars and sex-on-site venues in Auckland in 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2011, and 2014. GOSS has recruited participants from Internet dating sites in 2006, 2008, 2011 and 2014 nationwide. At 14, 841 responses they provide the largest datasets of gay and bisexual men’s experiences in the country.


HPV in Men: a Feasibility Study

As well as causing cervical cancer in women, HPV is associated with other cancers including cancers of the mouth, throat, penis and anus in men, with a particularly high incidence among men who have sex with men (MSM). However, many issues relating to HPV and vaccination in males are poorly understood in New Zealand.

The objective of our feasibility study is to estimate HPV prevalence, awareness, and vaccine acceptability among three subpopulations of interest: HIV positive MSM, other MSM, and heterosexual males. Participants will be recruited from primary health care and outpatient settings in Auckland.

The estimates of HPV prevalence and response rates will inform the design (sample size, duration) of a larger study to measure baseline HPV prevalence and monitor vaccine impact among these populations in the absence of alternative surveillance sources.

Funding for this project has been awarded by the Health Research Council of New Zealand.


For more information on this project, please contact: Adrian Ludlam

HPV in Men: a feasibility study - Participant information sheet
The participant information sheet outlining the nature, procedures and ethical considerations involved in our study. (181.7 kB, PDF)

Undiagnosed HIV study

The “Get it Wet” study examined actual and undiagnosed HIV infection among 1049 gay and bisexual men recruited from community settings in Auckland in 2011, using anonymous oral fluid specimens. The study was funded by the HRC and undertaken as a collaboration between the AIDS Epidemiology Group and the New Zealand AIDS Foundation.


HIV surveillance among gay and bisexual men

We collaborate closely with the AIDS Epidemiology Group (AEG) at the University of Otago to better understand patterns in the spread of HIV among gay and bisexual men.


RDS pilot study

An obstacle to health research with MSM is obtaining representative samples. Respondent driven sampling (RDS) allows us to produce these by using a form of chain-referral sampling with built-in incentives and weightings. In June 2013 we conducted a pilot study of RDS with gay and bisexual men in Auckland called the “*BUDZ Study”. Funding was provided by the University of Otago Department of Preventive and Social Medicine.


Behavioural disinhibition study

The “Sun Snow Sport Sex” (SSSS) study investigated behavioural disinhibition and HIV and STI risk-taking during international gay sporting events. Fieldwork was conducted at the 2nd Asia Pacific Outgames in Wellington. The project was a collaboration with the Australian Research Centre in Sex Health and Society (ARCSHS) and University of Otago with funding from La Trobe University.


HIV Futures NZ / Mate Aaraikore a muri ake nei

HIV Futures examined the lived experience of HIV in New Zealand.  The two cross-sectional surveys in 2001 (n=226) and 2007 (n=261) were completed by people living with HIV recruited from various settings. Topics included health, treatments, services, the social world, and home, work and money. The project was led by the Australian Research Centre in Sex Health and Society (ARCSHS) with funding from the Ministry of Health and assistance from the New Zealand AIDS Foundation.


Male Call / Waea Mai, Tane Ma

Male Call was New Zealand’s first nationwide survey of the socio-sexual characteristics of men who have sex with men (n=1852). It was undertaken by the New Zealand AIDS Foundation in 1996 with funding from the HRC. Although conducted long ago, it still provides the most detailed and multidisciplinary investigation of the sexual practices and social milieu of gay and bisexual men in the country.