A report by Public Health England in September 2014, shows that MSM (Men who have sex with Men) are at a higher risk of contracting and passing on an STI.

The report found that MSM made up 2% of London’s population (thought the be higher than elsewhere in the country) but accounted for 24% of new STIs in 2013.  The report found:

  • Of all the new cases of syphilis in London, 84% were in MSM.
  • 65% of new cases of Gonorrhoea in London were in MSM
  • 1 in 12 MSM in London are HIV positive, which has increased by 88% in the last ten years
  • Over 50% of all new cases of HIV in London are in MSM

In good news: the report found that most MSM had had a sexual health check, and the take up of screening was increasing (which is one reason that more STIs are being found – more people are getting tested).  Less than half of MSM had had an HIV test in the last year.

The report recommends various things to Public Health Boards, but in particular for MSM:

  • to have an STI screen including HIV at least once a year (the report is silent on which STIs they suggest are included in this screen), and every three months if you have multiple partners
  • to use condoms consistently with all new and casual partners, and with longer term partners until they have had an STI test
  • to reduce the numbers of partners and to remove overlap of partners
  • Sero sorting is unsafe.  This is only have sex with someone you believe is the same HIV status as you.  For people who are HIV positive, this increases their risk of another STI e.g. Hepatitis C, Gonorrhoea, Syphilis which the body will have to work much harder to fight, and for HIV negative men it carries the risk of HIV infection.

Better2Know’s medical team has put together three STI screens specifically tailored for MSM.  These are comprehensive screens put together by experts to meet and exceed Public Health England’s requirement for an annual STI test.  If you have any further questions please ask us below or on the phone number above.

 

 

 




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