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The experiences of ethnic minority MSM using NHS sexual health clinics in Britain
  1. Eamonn McKeown1,
  2. Rita Doerner1,
  3. Simon Nelson2,
  4. Nicola Low3,
  5. Angela Robinson4,
  6. Jane Anderson5,
  7. Jonathan Elford1
  1. 1School of Health Sciences, City University London, London, UK
  2. 2Terrence Higgins Trust, Bristol, UK
  3. 3Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland
  4. 4Mortimer Market Centre, University College London, London, UK
  5. 5Centre for the Study of Sexual Health and HIV, Homerton University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Professor Jonathan Elford, City University London, 20 Bartholomew Close, London EC1A 7QN, UK; j.elford{at}


Objective To compare the experiences of ethnic minority and white British men who have sex with men (MSM) who attend NHS sexual health clinics in Britain.

Methods In 2007–2008, a national sample of MSM living in Britain was recruited through websites, in sexual health clinics, bars, clubs and other venues. Men completed an online survey, which included questions about their experience of attending an NHS sexual health clinic.

Results Analysis is restricted to 363 ethnic minority MSM and 4776 white British MSM who had attended an NHS sexual health clinic in the 12 months before the survey. Compared with white British men, men from an Indian, Pakistani or Bangladeshi background were more likely to be very anxious about attending the clinic (adjusted OR (aOR) 2.58, 95% CI 1.63 to 4.07), express concerns about being overheard at reception (aOR 1.68, 95% CI 1.10 to 2.58), be uncomfortable in the waiting area (aOR 2.08, 95% CI 1.35 to 3.22) or be afraid that people in their community would find out that they have sex with men (aOR 7.70, 95% CI 4.49 to 13.22). The adjusted ORs for being afraid that people in their community would find out that they have sex with men were also elevated for black Caribbean, black African, Chinese and other Asian men.

Conclusion Sexual health clinics should be aware that some ethnic minority MSM, particularly those from an Indian, Pakistani or Bangladeshi background, have heightened concerns about clinic attendance and confidentiality compared with white British MSM.

  • Men who have sex with men
  • ethnic minority
  • NHS
  • sexual health clinics
  • Britain
  • sexual behaviour
  • sexuality
  • homosexual
  • gay men
  • adolescent
  • epidemiology
  • chlamydia
  • risk behaviours
  • HIV
  • STD surveillance
  • Chlamydia trachomatis

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  • Funding This study was supported by the Medical Research Council (grant number: G0500009).

  • Competing interests None.

  • Ethics approval Ethics approval was provided by South West MREC. Approval Number: 06/MRE06/71.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data sharing statement The data set for the study is still being analysed and further papers prepared for publication.