Two Thirds Of Young Gay Men Don't Receive HIV Testing Advice – As Diagnoses Rates Double

Published: March 9, 2015

The Huffington Post
Lucy Sherriff
Original Article:

Three quarters of young men who are gay or bisexual don’t receive any information about same-sex relationships at school, with two thirds going without HIV testing advice.

The research, by the National AIDS Trust, coincides with figures which show HIV diagnoses among males aged 15 to 24 who have sex with men have doubled in the past 10 years.

Young men who have sex with men (also known as MSM) are more likely to experience a range of other health issues such as poor mental health and problematic drug and alcohol use, which are associated with HIV transmission risk behaviour.

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The survey, which questioned more than 1,000 young MSM, is the largest of its kind ever conducted in the UK and found a third had not received any information on HIV transmission and safer sex during sex and relationships education (SRE) in school.

James Hanson, who was diagnosed with HIV at the age of 18, said he knew "very little" about the virus.

"I remember very clearly some awful sex ed lessons at school", he says. "I was shown a video of a typical family, where the whole family paraded around house naked and taught that sex is for a man and women for pleasure and have babies. I was never taught of the love between two men or two women.

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