Research on AIDS prevention and AIDS policy have been an important part of the work of the Public Health Research Group at the Social Science Research Centre for twenty years now.

Surveys of the preventive behaviour of homosexual men were carried out in 1991, 1993, 1996, 1999; 2003; and 2007 for the Federal Centre for Health Education (BZgA) by Dr. Michael Bochow (2003 together with Dr. Michael Wright). Similar surveys were conducted in 1987 and 1988 for the Deutsche AIDS-Hilfe. These surveys gathered data by placing a four-page questionnaire in the most important monthly magazines for homosexual men in Germany. In 2003 and 2007 the questionnaire was also administered online.

The aim of these studies is to observe long-term changes in the knowledge and attitudes of homosexual men with respect to HIV and AIDS and in their preventive behaviour and risk management. The epidemiological findings obtained in this way (including data on the incidence and prevalence of sexually transmitted infections) have proved to be a valuable supplement to the data collected by the Robert Koch Institute in Berlin, in particular to the KABaSTI study carried out in 2006. They also support the establishment of second generation surveillance for HIV and other transmittable infections in one of the main affected groups.

Parallel to the German survey in May 2007 a similar survey was conducted in Austria for the first time, in cooperation with AIDS-Hilfe Vienna.

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