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Assessing the health and well-being of gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men around the world
  1. Henry John Christiaan de Vries1,2,3,
  2. Stefan Baral4
  1. 1 STI Outpatient Clinic, Department of Infectious Diseases, Public Health Service Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  2. 2 Department of Dermatology, Academic Medical Centre University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  3. 3 Amsterdam Infection & Immunity Institute (AI&II), Academic Medical Centre, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  4. 4 Key Populations Program, Center for Public Health and Human Rights, Department of Epidemiology, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, USA
  1. Correspondence to Professor Henry John Christiaan de Vries, Department of Dermatology, University of Amsterdam, Meibergdreef 9, Amsterdam 1105 AZ 105 AZ, The Netherlands; h.j.devries{at}, hdvries{at}

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This issue focuses on gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (MSM), a population greatly affected by coexistent HIV and STI epidemics in many parts of the world. Indeed, gay-related immune deficiency (GRID) was the name first proposed in 1982 to describe AIDS before HIV was recognised as the cause. Even in the earliest epidemiological studies of AIDS, it was understood that there was a link to sexual practices and a history of STI diagnoses.1 New STIs are emerging and disproportionately affecting gay men living with HIV, such as lymphogranuloma venereum, hepatitis C virus (HCV) and human papillomavirus (HPV)-induced anal cancer. Increased access to antiretroviral therapy (ART) for people living with HIV has induced a return to normalcy. This has claimed to contribute to the re-emergence of syphilis among MSM.

Homosexual male–male activity is as old as mankind, and a part of life for many men in societies across the world. There is no evidence that men are more likely to be gay or otherwise MSM in any part of the world, though safety and social support to live as a gay man does vary greatly. Moreover, HIV disproportionately affects gay and bisexual men due to the efficiency of HIV transmission during condomless anal sex with serodiscordant and viraemic partners. The first part of this issue consists of a series of commissioned reviews and non-commissioned original articles describing the diverse responses to HIV and STIs among MSM around the world. A consistent message is the sustained disparity in the burden …

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  • Contributors Both HJCdV and SB have contributed to the writing of this manuscript.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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