Prevalence of risk factors for human immunodeficiency virus infection in the Australian population

M. W. Ross

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


A random, stratified sample of 2601 adult Australians from all states and territories was interviewed about knowledge of the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). After the interview, an anonymous questionnaire on the prevalence of practices that are associated with risk of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection was left with the respondents; 60.2% of these questionnaires were returned. Data from this survey suggest that the prevalences of male homosexual behaviour, prostitute contact and lesbian contact are substantially lower than were estimated previously. Men with homosexual experience were significantly more prevalent in the more populous states, but the majority of other risk factors - intravenous drug abuse, male respondents' contact with prostitutes, transfusion of blood or blood products during 1980-1985 and heterosexual contact - showed few significant associations with geographical, occupational or marital status. Intravenous drug abusers were significantly younger, and heterosexual contact was associated with age for both male and female respondents. No significant differences were found in the prevalence of homosexual contact among single, married and previously-married men, although the prevalence of homosexual contact was lower in married men. The results of the study are discussed in terms of targeting preventive campaigns and assessing the future potential for the spread of HIV infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)362-365
Number of pages4
JournalMedical Journal of Australia
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jan 1 1988


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