STD Prevention Measures for Gays and Other MSM
MSM or men who have sex with men are described as bisexual or gay. They may have straight or heterosexual experiences too. While they comprise a small percentage of those exposed to the risk of HIV/AIDS infection, they too have equal rights to the STD prevention programs and policies of the government and other approved agencies affiliated to the relevant departments responsible for such tasks.
Many medical practices do not encourage discussion about sexual behaviors which makes it difficult for gays and other MSM to receive comprehensive and deserving preventive healthcare. The best way to confirm an STD infection is to go for a full panel STD test at a reputed testing center.
Gays and other MSM are handicapped by a lack of a favorable clinical setting. Most clinics create an environment that’s designed for people who follow normal (read heterosexual) preferences. They are also unable to get quality health insurance which again is designed for those who follow sexual practices seen as conforming to accepted societal standards and norms.
Gays and other MSM are not very likely to disclose their sexual orientation and other health-related problems to healthcare providers because they do not belong to the accepted definition of mainstream individuals. Healthcare experts opine that providers and patients must have an honest and transparent discussion to arrive at an effective treatment regimen. It is also seen that programs in developing countries are not designed to address these issues.
Family physicians need to ask clear questions about sexual activities so that they can determine risk levels for STD infections for gays and MSM. As most such infections are asymptomatic, it is necessary for gays and other MSM to submit to full panel STD test at a clinic that has a reputation for accuracy in testing processes and for its use of the latest testing technology and procedures.
Recommended Preventive Measures:
Gays and other MSM must improve their awareness and knowledge about HIV and its risks so that they can take appropriate preventive measures for avoiding contracting HIV/AIDS.
Some of the key steps in this direction are
- Using condoms and lubricants
- Avoiding situations that can result in poor sexual choices
- Knowing the health status of a partner
- Taking Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP)
An effective preventive option is to take vaccinations against infections such as hepatitis A and B. You can get details of such vaccinations by consulting a specialist physician dealing with sexually transmitted diseases.
Avoid Specific Social Situations
Gays and other MSM must consciously avoid getting into specific social situations that can lead to sexual encounters. The level of resistance or inhibition is lowered significantly in such settings where you are likely to get intoxicated from the use of drugs and/or alcohol.
MSM and gays are at the highest risk of contracting HIV and hence it is critical to know about the risk situations. Also, it is imperative to visit a reputed clinic that conducts STD screening near Arlington to get tested and know about your health status. If the STD test result is positive, you can also get treated by qualified physicians at the clinic.