Study: HIV remains biggest health concern for American gay and bisexual men

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

A study published in the US has shown HIV is the biggest health concern for gay and bisexual men.

Researchers from Hunter College interviewed more than 650 gay and bisexual men at clubs, gay bars and saunas around New York City.

They were asked to rank how HIV, smoking, body image, mental health and substance abuse concerned them.

The study showed that HIV and sexually transmitted diseases ranked as the top concern among those surveyed and that mental health and drug and alcohol use were not far behind.

Dr Christian Grov, associate professor at Brooklyn College and a researcher at Hunter College’s Centre for HIV Educational Studies and Training was the study’s lead author.

“We wanted to see if HIV prevention fatigue was indeed becoming a real problem in the community,” he said.

“These findings are promising for HIV prevention providers because they suggest many gay and bisexual men still recognise HIV as a top issue for the gay community.”

The researchers also found that HIV prevention services in the US are so fragmented between different groups and agencies, many gay men have difficulty in getting adequate advice.

The study recommends that smart phone technology and social media is used to help get the word out about HIV prevention, mental health care and how drug and alcohol abuse can increase the chances of becoming infected with the virus.

The UK’s National AIDS Trust has warned that increased drug use on the UK’s gay scene is behind a rise in HIV and hepatitis C.