Identifying gaps in achieving the elimination of HIV transmission among gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men in Australia

The Gaps Project Report synthesises multiple data sources to identify emerging HIV prevention gaps in various subpopulations of gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (GBMSM) in Australia between 2009–2018. This includes HIV diagnoses data from the National HIV Registry, clinical data from the Australian Collaboration for Coordinated Enhanced Sentinel Surveillance of Blood Borne Viruses and Sexually Transmissible Infections (ACCESS), and behavioural data from the Gay Community Periodic Surveys (GCPS). This report examines disparities in HIV diagnoses, treatment, and prevention between age groups, region of birth and area of residence.

Key findings
  • There was a 10% decline in the number of HIV notifications among GBMSM in Australia, with HIV notifications increasing until 2014 before declining by 29% between 2014 and 2018.

  • HIV notifications in Australian-born GBMSM declined by 33%, but there was only a 13% decline in overseas-born GBMSM.

  • There is evidence of lower PrEP uptake in both men aged less than 25 years and in men aged 56 years and older. There was significantly lower ART uptake among younger men.

  • HIV diagnoses decreased by 37% in capital city postcodes with a high proportion of gay-identifying men, while there was an increase of 59% in regional, rural, or remote postcodes. GBMSM living in the capital city postcodes with high proportions of gay men had higher HIV testing rates and PrEP use.