Understand important health issues for gay men and men who have sex with men — from sexually transmitted infections to depression — and get tips for taking charge of your health. All men face certain health risks. However, gay men and men who have sex with men have some specific health concerns. Although your individual risks are shaped by many factors beyond your sexual orientation and practices — including family history and age — it's important to understand common health issues for gay men and steps you can take to stay healthy. Men who have sex with men are at increased risk of contracting HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, as well as other sexually transmitted infections.
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Bree, who's 19 and lives in London, says she's struggled with her mental health because of her experiences as a young gay teen. So at school I was always called names at every opportunity they had. When she realised she was gay at 13, Bree says she was "terrified" her friends would find out because of their homophobia towards LGBT people. Bree says she's now "comfortable" with herself and her sexuality, but even now says she suffers from anxiety when she is in public with her girlfriend. Charlie, not his real name, 29, says the mental health problems he experienced as a teen later led to alcohol problems.
The majority of gay and bisexual men have and maintain good mental health, even though research has shown that they are at greater risk for mental health problems. Like everyone else, the majority of gay and bisexual men are able to cope successfully if connected to the right resources. However, ongoing homophobia, stigma negative and usually unfair beliefs , and discrimination unfairly treating a person or group of people can have negative effects on your health. Research also shows that, compared to other men, gay and bisexual men have higher chances of having:. Gay and bisexual men may also face other health threats that usually happen along with mental health problems.
I was a few weeks into my job at The New York Times when I realized I was never taught how to love another gay, black man. But did I really know what I was doing? Did any of us?