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Mainstreaming HIV services for men who have sex with men: The role of general practitioners
General practitioners (GPs) and other primary care doctors around the world have a strong potential for providing quality HIV prevention, testing and treatment for men who have sex with men, as advocated by the recent WHO guideline.1 As the HIV epidemic becomes more focused on chronic disease care in many parts of the world, a number of primary care issues come to the forefront of clinical HIV service delivery. GPs have advantages in providing HIV services because of their position as trusted, community-based, long-term advocates for their patients. The training and capacity of GPs to engage marginalised groups of people increase the likelihood that GPs can provide MSM with needed, high-quality clinical care.
The health problems and health-seeking behaviours of MSM are fundamentally no different from other men seen by GPs. Management of common problems such as respiratory tract infections and hypertension is the same as for other men. Yet MSM may also have an increased risk of HIV, sexually transmitted infections including human papillomavirus, mental health problems2 ,3 and drug and alcohol use.3 Recent research on sexually transmitted Hepatitis C infection, especially among HIV-infected MSM, has been described4 and individuals who have a history of anal sex are more likely to acquire anal dysplasia.5 Among young MSM, …
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