Sexual health knowledge and behaviours in International MSM Students in Australia

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Conference Proceeding
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Background International sexual minority students, particularly men who have sex with men (MSM), experience disparities in health, including a significantly higher prevalence of HIV and other STIs and lower levels of sexual health services use. Limited research has been conducted in this population around sexual health knowledge, behaviour and services use. Methods A multi-language cross-sectional online survey was completed by 168 international MSM tertiary students (median age: 25 years) in New South Wales (Australia). Variables included demographics, sexual identity and behaviour, sexual health knowledge and behaviour including PrEP use as well as sexual health services use. Descriptive and correlational analyses, and binary logistic regressions were conducted. Results Sexual health knowledge including routes of HIV transmission was overall high in the sample, while 20% had limited knowledge regarding pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and 28% regarding post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP). Less than half (44%) reported inconsistent condom use. PrEP use was low in the sample (14%) and not correlated with condom use. Sexual health behaviours and dimensions LGBT Community connectedness were significantly correlated with the use of different sexual health services. Conclusions This first comprehensive study among international MSM tertiary students in Australia demonstrates a high level of inconsistent condom use and low levels of PrEP use as well as strong correlations between sexual health behaviour and HIV/STI testing, and connectedness with other sexual minority men. International MSM students do not feel included in the local LGBT Community but demonstrate a strong desire to be involved. Those included were more likely to use vital sexual health services. Main Message International MSM students are an emerging priority population for sexual health research and practice. , and future health promotion campaigns should consider incorporating strong community building and connectedness elements.
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