Sexual Health For Bisexual And Gay Men
Did you know that more than half of the individuals that live with HIV in the United States comprise men that have sex with other men, bisexuals, and gays?
As such, is men’s health reliable? No. The fact is, you never truly know if you are safe with your partner until you take precautions like getting tested and using protection during sexual intimacy. This is something to consider every time you are on one of your best dating sites looking for one-night stands.
It is also one of the biggest reasons why men’s health is important from a community and an individual perspective. Nonetheless, we cannot work on men’s health if we are not informed. So today, we’ll look at some of the recommendations given by the CDC and other medical experts on ways to protect men’s health.
But first, let’s look at some of the common health issues most men experience.
<h2>What Are Men’s Health Issues?</h2>
Just like heterosexual relationships, relations between the bisexual, gay, and men that have sex with other men can have severe health issues. Some of these common issues include:
- Intimate partner violence. Men can equally be abusive to their male counterparts. Usually, this comes in the form of verbal threats to “out” their partner and in some physical abuse.
- Substance abuse. Because of the stigma that comes with being bisexual, gay, or sexually attracted to other men, the abuse of alcohol, drugs, and tobacco has become prevalent in this community. This contributes to increased men’s health issues like cancer, liver damage, and STDs due to risky and intoxicated sexual behaviors.
- Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD). Men go through the same body insecurities that women do, which results in eating disorders, discrimination, and mental health issues like depression and low self-esteem.
- Sexually transmitted infections (STIs). The most prevalent ones that affect men’s health include HIV, HPV, Syphilis, Hepatitis A, B and C, Gonorrhea, Chlamydia, Non-specific urethritis (inflammation of the urethra), Genital Herpes, and Genital Warts.
Remember, there is a prevalence of sexual partners among men who have sex with other bisexual and gay men with higher rates of these health issues. Besides, receptive vaginal sex is eighteen times less prone to HIV infections than receptive anal sex.
Also, because of homophobia, stigma, and discrimination, it might be much harder to seek medical help. Sadly, there are also less appropriate medical support and services for these men’s health concerns.
Recommendations For Gay And Bisexual Men
Here are some of our recommendations to keep your health safe and prevent severe health issues:
You can only learn how to improve men’s health if you take the first step and get tested. Here’s why:
- Taking an HIV and STD test will reveal your status. After which, you can take further steps to improve or safeguard your health. For instance, if you do test positive for HIV, you can start taking the necessary medication.
- This will take care of your immunity as much as the health of your sexual partner. Also, it is easier to get an STD like gonorrhea if you already have HIV. But once you get the test, you can start practicing the correct preventative measures.
It is recommended that you get a test after every six months.
Suppose you do find that you test negative for any of these men’s health issues. In that case, it would be prudent for you to ask your doctor for vaccinations since they will protect your health. Some of the vaccines you should consider include:
- Hepatitis vaccine. You’ll need two doses of the Hepatitis A vaccine and three doses of the Hepatitis B vaccine.
- Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine. You can get this vaccine if you are 26 years of age or less. Three doses in six months are enough to protect you from HPV.
- Flu vaccine. This is one single shot given at the start of the fall – the flu season.
In addition to getting vaccinated, you should change some of your lifestyle habits. For instance, learning about men’s health and the transmission of STDs creates awareness, which breeds the need for protective measures.
Also, create an open, honest, and non-judgmental space for communication with your partner so that you can discuss your men’s health. Introduce the use of condoms in your sex life and reduce drugs or alcohol consumption to limit the occurrence of risky behavior.
Moreover, if you lower the number of sexual partners, you will lower your chances of infection. Look up information about men’s health for fertility since STDs like gonorrhea can lead to men’s fertility complications if not treated.
Another lifestyle change you can make is incorporating basic care for men’s health and nutrition practices into your life. Healthy, nutritious meals can strengthen your immunity. This, in turn, will make it easier for your body to fight diseases in case you will have any. It will also help with recovery if you are taking any STD medications.
Also, men’s health and fitness programs will help you maintain a healthy weight and BMI by keeping your blood pressure and cholesterol levels low. Thus, it becomes less likely for you to get a heart attack.
In brief, take care of your health, get regular checkups and screenings, and limit your alcohol use. But most of all, get informed as much as you can about men’s health. This could be the best preventative measure if you have sex with other men, are bisexual, or are gay.
Also, if you’ve experienced discrimination or stigma before, please share your experience with us. We would love to hear from you and get to share our experiences.
Davis is a marriage and family therapist. She has worked in a variety of therapeutic settings over the past 7 years providing services to children, adults, families, and couples. She is currently doing specific research on the topic. Miranda loves traveling and hiking.