Sigma Research

Health and use of Primary Care services by gay men

Duration: January 2003 - January 2004

Recent changes within the NHS mean that sexual health promotion and some STI treatment and care should be managed at the local General Practitioner level. These changes could have a major impact on the way that gay and bisexual men access and use services.

Research shows that gay men consult their GPs as often as the wider population of adult males, but tend not to discuss their sex lives or their sexual health with their doctor. Instead, they generally prefer to use sexual health or genito-urinary medicine (GUM) clinics.

This study investigated the capacity of GP services to monitor, manage and promote the sexual health of gay men. The report presents quantitative data about GP and other health service use for the men who took part in the Gay Men’s Sex Survey 2003 (N=14,551) followed by the results of in-depth qualitative interviews with forty-one gay men. Interviews examined in detail their attitudes towards and experiences of a range of heath services including their primary care practitioner.

The report gives detailed findings regarding gay men’s use of health and primary care services as well as recommendations for increasing the acceptability of services to this group.

The study was undertaken as part of the Basic Research strand of our CHAPS contract with Terrence Higgins Trust. The study informed a subsequent CHAPS intervention.

The final report was called Doctoring gay men: exploring the contribution of General Practice.

Key contact: Peter Weatherburn

Tagged under: All gay & bisexual men