The significant differences in sexual behavior between the
samples concerned safer sex activities, while the prevalence of
potentially unsafe sex behavior such as receptive and insertive anal
intercourse and the prevalence of condom use did not significantly
differ across samples. Similarly, there were no discernible differences between the samples on questions concerning condom usage
and the proportion of respondents visiting gay saunas and places for
anonymous sex (that is, beats), which suggests, at least in cities of
similar size and HIV prevalence, these aspects of homosexual
behavior are stable regardless of the type of education campaigns
people are exposed to or the degree of acceptance of homosexuality in
the particular society.12
Rather than differences in behavior, differences in seeking
testing and sources of safer sex information were found, possibly
reflecting respondents' responses to different emphases in AIDS
education as well as legislation and social attitudes concerning
Erv Raible, in Rutledge [ 1988], p. 24.
Rosser [ 1988c], in examining the effects of the Australian Grim Reaper
AIDS campaign on HIV testing and HIV detection rates, used comparative data
from NZ collected during the same period.
In order to compare the NZ (four-point Likert scale) and the SA frequency
data (three-point Likert scale), the NZ categories of "Always" and "Mostly" were
collapsed to equate the SA "Often" category.
t (230) = 2.73, p≪.01; scale: 1-5; 1 = very easy, 5 = impossible.
Examination of this qualitative data revealed that the major similarity
between the samples was respondents reporting pharmacies (that is, retail drug
stores) as the most likely source of condoms in both NZ and SA (n = 87 and n = 45,
respectively). While in NZ the next most frequent source of condoms were retail
shops (n = 38), on prescription from a doctor (n = 19), and the local sauna (n = 14), the
next most frequent source for condoms reported by the SA sample were gay groups
(n = 11), vending machines (n = 7), and the sauna (n = 7).
X2 = 27.13, df = 1, p≪.001.
X2 = 11.54, df=1, p≪.001.
X2 = 13.56, df = 1, p≪.001.
That significantly more respondents in SA reported being tested away
from clinics, hospitals, or general practitioners was likely the result of a previous
research study investigating HIV prevalence at a variety of Adelaide gay venues
in 1985 [ Ross, 1986; Ross &
X2 = 16.01,df = 1, p≪.001.
The only exception to this finding was a difference concerning
analingual activity, where NZ respondents reported a higher prevalence of the
behavior, but with less frequency. (Chapters 5 and 6 further explore the issues of the
effects of societal acceptance of homosexuality and AIDS education on the behavior
of homosexually active men.)