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Risky business or not? FIFOs, sexual risk taking and the Australian mining industry

journal contribution
posted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by Catherine O'Mullan, Joseph Debattista, Matthew Browne
Issue addressed: The fly-in, fly-out (FIFO) and drive-in, drive-out (DIDO) models of mining in Australia have led to concerns about adverse health and psychosocial impacts. Despite speculation that increased levels of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in Australia, including HIV, are associated with FIFO/DIDO work, we know little about sexual risk-taking behaviours in mining populations. This study explores differences in sexual risk taking and perceptions of risk between FIFO/DIDO miners and residential miners. Methods: A cross-sectional survey was administered to a sample (n = 444) of male miners working in Queensland, Australia. The self-completed survey contained 49 questions relating to knowledge, attitudes and behaviour and included demographic information and specific items related to sex and relationships. Results: FIFO/DIDO status was not associated with any differential sexual risk-taking behaviours, except for an increased probability of reporting ‘ever being diagnosed with an STI’; 10.8% of FIFO/DIDO respondents versus 3.6% of others (x2 (1) = 4.43,P = 0.35). Conclusions: Our results appear to counter anecdotal evidence that FIFO/DIDO miners engage in higher sexual risk behaviours when compared with residential miners. So what? Anecdotal evidence linking the rise of sexually transmitted infections with the FIFO/DIDO mining workforce could drive costly and unnecessary approaches to prevention. Further research, surveillance and monitoring are required to inform health promotion interventions.

Funding

Category 2 - Other Public Sector Grants Category

History

Issue

2015

Start Page

4

End Page

9

Number of Pages

6

ISSN

1036-1073

Publisher

CSIRO

Language

en-aus

Peer Reviewed

Yes

Open Access

No

External Author Affiliations

Metro North Public Health Unit

Era Eligible

Yes

Journal

Health promotion journal of Australia.

Usage metrics

CQUniversity

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