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One in three gay men did not use a condom the last time they had sex

Joe Williams October 8, 2015
A gay couple in bed

A gay couple in bed (rt69/flickr.com)

Over two thirds of gay men also said they would use PrEP right now if it were available in the UK.

UK-based gay men’s charity GMFA has carried out its biggest ever survey into gay men’s sex lives – with results that are both encouraging and others that are slightly worrying.

Of the 3,000 responses, high numbers of men admitted not using condoms when they had sex – although the majority of respondents also claimed to have had a sexual health test in the past twelve months.

In addition, over half of the men in the sample had fewer than five sexual partners in the last year – with 58% saying that they had had sex in the last week.

However, some of the most interesting results were those concerning HIV awareness and treatment.

Over half of respondents had not been diagnosed with HIV admitted that they were worried about becoming HIV-positive – but only a third admitted to using condoms the last time they had anal sex.

By contrast, 90% of gay with HIV said they used condoms the last time they had a sexual partner – and 71% claimed that they would use PrEP immediatley if it was available on the NHS.

“This illustrates that there is still a need for more information about HIV in the treatment era and that given the right information we can change not only attitudes but also behaviour,” said Matthew Hodson – GMFA’s Chief Executive said:

“Our community remains plagued by low self-esteem, leaving many vulnerable to harmful drug taking and alcohol use,” he added.

“For many gay men expressing intimacy is a major challenge and all of these factors play a role in the poor sexual health that still besets our community.”

“We’ve come a long way but so long as these health inequalities persist, we are not equal.”

PrEP has divided the LGBT community since it was approved by the FDA in 2012.

In the UK, Truvada is currently still in its experimental trial period, but some campaigners are already calling for it to be made available on the NHS.

Last year, AIDS Healthcare Foundation President Michael Weinstein attracted criticism for labelling Truvada a “party drug”, claiming it would wrongly be seen as an alternative to condoms.

The AHF – which has broken away from other groups to condemn PrEP – also launched an ad campaign targeting targeting the treatment.

More: gay men, Health, HIV, LGBT, PrEP, Sex

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