Gay Men’s Health
Mens Health > Gay Men’s Health
In 1998, 75% of all men surveyed in the US reported having unbearable amounts of stress (Prevention Magazine). Intolerable stress. That’s only the beginning, and that’s a statistic for men whose sexual orientation was not identified. Gay men’s health today has statistics like these: 42,008 new cases of AIDS are reported in 2001, an 8 percent increase from 2000. (findarticles.com)
Clearly, gay men’s health is as important as straight and bisexual men’s health, which is equally as important as women’s, yet the general consensus has it that men too often neglect themselves, especially when they do not have someone to nudge them, nurture them, care for or care about them. This should stop the men in the UK who—according to statistics can expect to “be seriously or chronically ill for 15 years of their lives.” (malehealth.co. uk) This should stop them long enough to nudge them.
Gay men’s health, existing as it does now with problems all men should face and looming in the near future, should be a nudge. If not, then maybe more statistics will be: men are four times less likely to see a doctor than women. This is according to Dr. Hilary Jones at netdoctor.co.uk. At the same time, however, 45% of all men are overweight, and one third of them are termed clinically obese; 8.7 million men over 20 in the US alone have Diabetes (according the ADA); one million males have eating disorders (inch-aweigh.com); and in 1998, a UK research company determined that 38% of 16 to 24 year olds had a high fat intake, while 22% between 55 and 64 did as well (statistics.gov.uk). Moreover, 7 out of 8 carry at least one risk toward heart disease and/or stroke; and of all men with high blood pressure, only 25% use a medication to control it. And these are just a handful.
In addition to the risks one faces by virtue of being male, more complications and concerns are added: according to a San Francisco survey of the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association (GLMA) members, the demands of the added pressures have gay men’s health concerns requiring specific conversations with their health care providers.
According to glma.org, ten specifics must be considered, nine of which are in addition to typical male health specifics:
1. HIV/AIDS, Safe Sex
2. Substance Use
4. Hepatitis Immunization
6. Prostate/Testicular/Colon Cancer
9. Fitness (Diet & Exercise)
10. Anal Papiloma (glma.org)
With the overwhelming nature of gay men’s health concerns, it is almost understandable that they might be more likely to neglect their physical well-being in exchange for living in a day to day complex web that is enough to keep from getting tangled up in. But we still have to convince them to forfeit shyness, ego, shame, fear, or forgetfulness for a half an hour of proactive, preventative measures once every couple of months. Please.