The Guardian (London) (04.25.12) - Wednesday, May 02, 2012
Nearly a third of gay and bisexual male NHS users surveyed
last year by the LGBT rights charity Stonewall said they had
never been tested for HIV. Of those not tested, 70 percent
said it was because they did not consider themselves at risk,
and a third cited their not having symptoms of HIV infection.
The survey also found that 54 percent of those polled had
never discussed HIV with a health professional.
Nearly a third of the 6,900 gay and bisexual men surveyed
reported a negative NHS-related experience due to their
sexuality. The same proportion had not disclosed their
sexuality to a general practitioner or other NHS staff, citing
doubts about confidentiality and lack of opportunities for the
discussion. Some health professionals had assumed that, since
their patient was gay, he must be HIV-positive, several
The surveyed men were more likely to smoke, drink, and use
illegal drugs. Among respondents ages 16-24, 6 percent had
tried taking their life in the last year. Fifteen percent had
intentionally harmed themselves, compared with 3 percent for
The report calls for better training of health professionals,
and it says anti-discrimination polices should be posted
prominently in health care settings.
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