A quick guide to health for gay males and other men who have sex with men.
Sexual Health For Gay Men
Gay sexual health is different to that of straight men. For this reason I will be covering sexual health with a perspective for men who have sex with other men.
As always I recommend all guys have an annual sexual health check up. If you have had more than 10 sexual partners in less than 6 months then it’s worth getting done every 6 months or sooner if you are having lots of sex.
If you have had any symptoms such as burning or stinging with urination, discharge from the penis or anus, unusual sores, rashes or severe flu like illness it’s important to see your family doctor or local sexual health service asap to determine if you may have picked up an STI (sexually transmitted infection).
A quick video on sexual health screening
Guidelines to common sexually transmitted infections:
Gonorrhoea is a less common STI that can present in the penis, throat as well as the anus. It is usually symptomatic with anal pain, pus from the penis and sometimes a sore throat. For this reason it's vital to have all three areas checked in STI screening.
Herpes is a common sexually transmitted disease (STD) that any sexually active person can get. Most people with the virus don’t have symptoms. It is important to know that even without signs of the disease, it can still spread to sexual partners.
Genital warts is one of the most common sexual infections in the world. It is caused by the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) and is easily spread from person to person via skin contact. Many people have been exposed when younger but symptoms may not show for years after exposure.
Hepatitis A is a virus, or infection, that causes liver disease and inflammation of the liver. It can be easily transmitted through rimming and sometimes if the hands are not carefully washed after anal play.
Hepatitis C is usually spread when blood from a person infected with the Hepatitis C virus enters the body of someone who is not infected. Today, most people become infected with the Hepatitis C virus by sharing needles or other equipment to inject drugs. Sexually transmitted Hep C is now becoming more common in gay men.
HIV is a virus spread through body fluids that affects specific cells of the immune system, called CD4 cells, or T cells. Over time, HIV can destroy so many of these cells that the body can’t fight off infections and disease. When this happens, HIV infection leads to AIDS. Learn more about the stages of HIV and how to tell whether you’re infected.
Scabies is an infestation of the skin by the human itch mite (Sarcoptes scabiei var. hominis). The microscopic scabies mite burrows into the upper layer of the skin where it lives and lays its eggs. The most common symptoms of scabies are intense itching and a pimple-like skin rash.