2008 Survey Findings

In 2008, we surveyed 1514 men (71% response rate [RR]); 1508 completed questionnaires (71% RR) and 1277 provided oral fluid samples (60% RR).  Highlights from the 2008 survey were that almost half of the men surveyed reported a recent HIV test; a substantial increase from the previous survey in 2005. There had also been a decrease in undiagnosed HIV infection (42% of men testing HIV positive were undiagnosed in 2005 compared with 26% in 2008), but there was no difference in this between men who had and had not tested in the year prior to the survey. A significant minority of gay and bisexual men in Scotland continue to report relatively high levels of sexual risk behaviour that could leave them at risk of HIV and other STIs and the men in our survey reported limited use of sexual risk reduction strategies.

The men surveyed in 2008 reported relatively high levels of contact with current HIV prevention activities. 73% obtained free condoms from a gay venue or the Internet, 51% reported accessing sexual health information, 14% reported talking to an outreach worker and 8% reported participating in sexual health/HIV prevention counseling. Many of the men surveyed were also willing to participate in future HIV prevention research. Over three quarters were willing to participate in some form of research, 65% for an HIV vaccine, 57% for a behaviour change study, and 53% for a rectal microbicides (an antiretroviral gel applied before sex), but only 14% were willing to participate in circumcision research. Offering combination prevention, including outreach by peer health workers, increased uptake of sexual health services delivering behavioural and biomedical interventions, and supported by social marketing to ensure continued community engagement and support, could be the way forward.


McDaid LM, Hart GJ. Serosorting and strategic positioning during unprotected anal intercourse: are risk reduction strategies being employed by gay and bisexual men in Scotland?  Sexually Transmitted Diseases 2012;39:735-738.

McDaid LM, Hart GJ. Willingness to participate in future HIV prevention studies among gay and bisexual men in Scotland, UK: a challenge for intervention trials. Aids & Behavior 2012;16:1420-1429.
pubmed  open access 

Knussen C, Flowers P, McDaid LM, Hart GJ. HIV-related sexual risk behaviour between 1996 and 2008, according to age, among men who have sex with men (Scotland). Sexually Transmitted Infections 2011; 87:257-9.
pubmed  open access

McDaid L, Hart G. Increased HIV testing and reduced undiagnosed infection among gay men in Scotland, 2005-2008: support for the opt-out testing policy? Sexually Transmitted Infections 2011; 87:221-4.
pubmed  open access

McDaid LM, Hart GJ. Contact with HIV prevention services highest in gay and bisexual men at greatest risk: cross-sectional survey in Scotland. BMC Public Health 2010; 10:798.
pubmed  open access 

McDaid LM, Weiss HA, Hart G. Circumcision among men who have sex with men in Scotland: Limited potential for HIV prevention. Sexually Transmitted Infection 2010; 86:404-6.
pubmed  open access


2014 Survey

We have completed our 2014 survey in Glasgow, Edinburgh and this year, Dundee!  A huge amount of thanks goes to all the men who took part and to the venues and research partners who supported our work.

We've written up the findings from our 2011 survey. You can see a summary of the findings and the published papers on our 2011 findings page.