Sigma Research

Gay Men's Sex Survey (CHAPS/ HPE)

Duration: April 1993 - March 2016

In 1993, Sigma Research carried out an on-the-spot survey of men attending the London Lesbian and Gay Pride festival, instigating an annual survey that has grown to be the largest in the world and an institution on the UK summer gay scene. The National Gay Men’s Sex Survey (GMSS), also known as Vital Statistics, has occurred 17 times in the 24 years since and now recruits exclusively online. The content of the survey is developed in collaboration with health promoters, within the framework of Making it Count. The questions cover a range of demographics, health indicators, sexual behaviours, HIV prevention needs, use of settings in which health promotion can occur and recognition of national interventions. The weight given to each area varies each year, and the data collected is treated as cumulative, building a detailed picture of gay men and bisexual men and HIV over time.

Core results from the national sample are reported in the main survey report, published following each survey. We also publish and insert into various gay press titles feedback to respondents who may have taken part. Since 2003 detailed data reports have also been made available alongside the national reports.

Findings from the survey have also been presented at a range of national and international conferences and in Journal articles.

Previous questionnaires are available in questionnaires.

From 1997 to 2010 the survey was funded by Terrence Higgins Trust as part of CHAPS, a national HIV prevention initiative funded by the Department of Health.There was no survey in 2009 - instead we caught up with 2007 and 2008 data outputs, ran feedback seminars and piloted new recruitment methods for 2010. After a break of three years (2011-2013) the survey ran again in 2014 funded by Terrence Higgins Trust, but now as part of HIV Prevention England. There are plans to run the survey again in late 2017, as part of a pan-European study available in 25 languages.

Key contact: Ford Hickson