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Cult Health Sex. 2005 Jan;7(1):59-72.

Different spaces, same faces: Perth gay men's experiences of sexuality, risk and HIV.

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  • 1School of Public Health, Curtin University of Technology, Perth, WA, Australia.


This study investigated the experiences and behaviours of 25 gay, bisexual and queer identifying men in the context of their perceptions of sexuality, risk and HIV; how sex and relationships are negotiated; and the influence of the environments and community on living and loving in a small gay community. Purposive sampling techniques were used to recruit participants in Perth, Western Australia. Symbolic interactionist theory provided the analytic framework. The study found that the men brought with them a range of meanings related to venues, contexts, identity and community. The men weighed up a number of simultaneous risks and benefits in their relationship with others, of which HIV was one of many variables. Assumptions about the culture and size of the Perth gay community permeated many of the assumptions men made about both venues and spaces, but also the characteristics of the men in those spaces.

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