MSM have other health inequalities as well as poor sexual health, say Public Health England

Published: February 6, 2015

Roger Pebody
Original Article:

The UK government’s leading body for public health this week launched a new framework for improving the health of gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (MSM). Notably the document considers HIV and sexual health alongside other areas in which MSM have poorer health than the general population – mental health and the use of alcohol, drugs and tobacco. Public Health England also consider that a focus on individual behaviour is insufficient, but that the structural determinants of poor health need to be addressed too.

Public Health England (PHE) have identified research showing that men who have sex with men are twice as likely to be depressed or anxious as other men, are twice as likely to be dependent on alcohol as other men, are more likely to smoke, have higher rates of cardiovascular disease, asthma and diabetes and are less likely to seek help from health and social care services. Few men reveal their sexual identity to those providing care.

PHE suggest that these health inequalities are shaped by a range of factors including families and social networks, schools, workplaces, faith organisations, media, legislation and the wider cultural and social context in which men grow, live and age.

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