Tuesday , 21 May 2019

Gay men are not getting enough regular testing for HIV

HIV TestNew research carried out by Glasgow University shows that gay men, including those thought to be at a “high risk” of contracting HIV, are not getting tested often enough.

Researchers from the University’s Social and Public Health Sciences Unit found that “fewer than one in five men reported having four or more tests in the last two years.”

The authors of the research also estimated that only around 54.9% of gay men test annually. National guidelines recommend that men who have sex with men get tested at least once a year, while those considered at a “higher risk” from the virus should be testing once every three months.

The study was published in the HIV Medicine Journal today, and is the first of its kind to research the frequency of HIV testing for gay men and men who have sex with men (MSM) in the UK.

“HIV testing is a core component of current HIV prevention,” explained Dr Lisa McDaid, the lead author of the study. “But despite substantial increases in the uptake of HIV testing in recent years, our results suggest MSM in the UK do not test frequently enough.

Dr Mcdaid went on to explain: “Given that current guidelines suggest individuals at risk of HIV test as frequently as every three months – as well as after a risk event – and that men newly diagnosed with HIV are known to have been less frequent testers, there is a clear need to promote frequent testing as routine and address barriers to frequent testing accordingly.”

Dr McDaid added: “Frequent testing will be central to the success of biomedical HIV prevention.

“HIV self-testing kits are now available in the UK, but it remains to be seen if these can increase testing frequency.

“Regional, demographic and behavioural differences and variations in the risk profiles of testers also suggest it is unlikely that a ‘one size fits all’ approach to increasing the frequency of testing will be successful

About Dan Littauer

Dan Littauer is a journalist who specializes in LGBTI current affairs, travel writing, feature writing and investigative journalism. He is a correspondent for LGBTQ Nation, ManAboutWorld, and previously worked for Gay Star News, PinkNews, San Diego Gay and Lesbian News, Gay Middle East, Lonely Planet as well as contributing occasionally to the BBC, Al-Jazeera, CNN and The Guardian. He also had an extensive career outside journalism, which included teaching psychoanalysis and social science, and consultancy work for the travel market. When he is not busy writing, he can be spotted rambling around the stunning Scottish landscape, where he lives, spending time at home with his cat.

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2 comments

  1. This group (g0ys) is literally changing the face of M2M relationships by distancing themselves from “gay stigmas & practices”: http://g0ys.org

  2. Wow because this is very helpful job! Congrats and keep it up.|

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