How we are failing a generation of young gay men

Published: March 9, 2015

Original Article:

New research has found three-quarters of young men who are sexually attracted to other men (young MSM) don’t receive any information about same-sex relationships at school and a third don’t received any information on HIV transmission and safer sex.

This is at a time when HIV diagnoses among men who have sex with other men aged 15-to-24 have doubled in the past 10 years.

The study by the NAT (National AIDS Trust) of 14-19 year-olds MSM also found:
•    Over half (55%) of survey respondents had experienced bullying and discrimination because of their sexual orientation.
    •    Of those who had, 99% had been bullied or discriminated against by a pupil at school and over a third (39%) had been bullied or discriminated against by a teacher or another adult at school.
    •    Over a quarter (27%) did not know how HIV was passed on.
    •    Almost a third didn’t know you can’t get HIV from kissing
    •    Nearly three-quarters didn’t know about PEP – a drug you can take for up to 72 hours which can prevent HIV.

The report, Boys Who Like Boys, is the largest research project of this kind ever conducted in the UK with over 1,000 14-19 year-olds taking part.

Deborah Gold, Chief Executive of NAT, said: “We are failing a generation of young men. It is vital that young MSM are equipped with the right information and knowledge to support their sexual health and emotional well-being. Our research published today shows that this not the case. We have found significant gaps in HIV knowledge, sub-standard sex and relationships education at school, and endemic levels of homophobic bullying.

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