25 April 2012

Gay and bisexual men ‘neglected’ by health services

Stonewall publishes world’s largest Gay and Bisexual Men’s Health Survey
Report reveals serious concerns about mental health and domestic abuse

GMH coverStonewall today publishes the world’s largest Gay and Bisexual Men’s Health Survey, which reveals that even though Britain’s gay and bisexual men are more likely to attempt suicide or self-harm, have depression, smoke, drink and take illegal drugs, their needs are often overlooked by health services which tend to focus solely on gay men’s sexual health.

Stonewall’s survey - available online at www.stonewall.org.uk/gaymenshealth - also found that gay and bisexual men are more likely than men in general to have experienced domestic abuse from a family member or partner. Four in five of those who have faced abuse have never reported it to the police, and more than half of those who did report were not happy with how the police dealt with the situation.

Stonewall Chief Executive Ben Summerskill said: ‘This deeply troubling report provides hard evidence that Britain’s 1.8 million gay and bisexual men are being let down by health services which often see homosexuality and bisexuality purely as sexual health issues. As a result hundreds of thousands of gay and bisexual men are in dire need of better support from health professionals. This landmark report makes a number of recommendations that could help health services improve before more lives are ruined.’

The report, based on responses from nearly 6,900 gay and bisexual men across Britain, also reveals that one in three men have not been tested for HIV. This, it says, raises: ‘grave concerns about the effectiveness with which hundreds of millions of pounds of public money have been spent on HIV awareness and prevention in recent years.’

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