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How do we tackle the poor sexual health of gay and bisexual men? The lives of many men-who-have-sex- with-men (MSM) in the UK, as in many other Western liberal democracies, have undergone the most extraordinary social changes in less than two decades. In the UK, these have included the legalisation of marriage, equality in health, parental and employment rights and an increasing mainstream acceptance of gay (and to a lesser extent bisexual) men that extends from sport to soap operas.
In stark contrast, rates of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection in MSM, compared with most other groups, are stable or rising in almost allhigh, middle and low income nations including the UK. Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs), in particular syphilis and gonorrhoea, continue to affect MSM disproportionately, and rates of other health problems, from tobacco use and depression to anal cancer, may be higher in MSM than in heterosexual men.
The British association of Sexual Health and HIV (BASHH) MSM special interest group was formed in 2011 in response to this complex but fascinating challenge. We have addressed strategic priorities through co-ordinating BASHH feedback …
Contributors DC conceived and wrote the paper based on the work and discussions of the BASHH MSM Special Interest Group. Group members Dr David Asboe, Dr Tristan Barber, Dr Carol Emerson, Dr Martin Fisher and Dr Andy Williams, commented on the draft. DC is the guarantor of the paper and responsible for the opinions expressed.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.