There is a growing acceptance of the LGBT community in mainstream culture. Those who identify as members of this community are transgender, bisexual, lesbian or gay.
While they’re as diverse as the rest of the population, LGBT people share a common experience of discrimination and stigma which can lead to common health issues. LGBT people including gay men face a wide variety of health risks. Unfortunately, these risks often go unaddressed due to ongoing discrimination by health professionals and institutions, poor or inappropriate health care due to real or perceived homophobia, previous negative personal experience, ignorance of specific health problems, and lack of knowledge of the patient’s sexual orientation.
As most surveys and studies don’t address gender identity or sexual orientation, you will find very limited information on the health risks faced by the LGBT community including health issues for gay men.
Moreover, many people belonging to the LGBT community do not seek health care and thus aren’t included in health studies. As they assume them to be heterosexuals, more than 60% of the healthcare providers never ask their patients about their sexual orientation. Also, some healthcare professional do not ask about sexual orientation due to ignorance are wish to avoid the issue. Nevertheless, there are some documented health issues encountered by gay men. Following are four of them.
HIV/AIDS is a health issue encountered by gay men that most people know about. Men who indulge in sexual activity with other men are at an increased risk of HIV infection. The good news is that safe sex has helped the gay community to considerably lower the rate of HIV infection among them. Treatments for HIV have come to the fore recently but prevention is and will remain the best solution. Gay men can reduce their risk of receiving or transmitting HIV by following safe sex practices.
Compared to the general population, depression and anxiety seems to affect gay men more. The lack of social support has forced many gay men to hide or mask their identity which has often aggravated the stress/anxiety in them. The only way gay men can overcome this health problem is by being open about their sexual orientation and finding support.
Another health issue that many gay men today suffer from is STDs or sexually transmitted diseases. The good news is that treatment for many STD infections including pubic lice, gonorrhoea and syphilis are available today. However, some STD infections such as Hepatitis A, B and C and HIV have no cure.
Colon, Testicular and Prostrate cancer
Many gay men are at an increased of colon, testicular and prostate cancer. However, screening and tests are the only way gay men can know their risk for developing the aforementioned types of cancer.
There you have it—the top 4 health issues encountered by gay men.