Less gay men seeking HIV tests

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A gay health group is calling for more sexual health campaigns after a survey revealed that significantly less gay men are seeking HIV tests.

The number of gay men in Ireland seeking HIV tests has dropped by 33% over the last four years, according to the Gay Men’s Health Project.

The organisation conducted a survey called Representation, Empowerment, Assessment and Location (REAL) for the fourth All-Ireland Gay Health Forum, to highlight the realities of the lives of gay and bisexual men in Ireland.

Results showed that 7.6% of gay men admit to being forced into sexual activity and almost 50% were not taking any precautions.

Gay men under 20 were found to be least likely to have been tested for HIV, especially if they had lower educational qualifications.

Mick Quinlan of the Gay Men’s Health Project said: “These results also draw particular attention to the necessity to promote campaigns among men from educationally disadvantaged backgrounds in order to ensure that all had been exposed to information regarding best sexual health practice.”