HIV Risk, Resilience, Health and Well-being of Gay/Bisexual Men

David J. Brennan, Associate Professor

 

Progress has been made in eliminating health disparities in Canada. And yet, gay, bisexual men (GBM), and other men who have sex with men (MSM) remain at higher sexual, physical and mental health risk than men who only have sex with women. Men’s behaviour accounts for only some of this health inequality; social factors and conditions must be considered as well. Mounting evidence suggests that experiences of social exclusion together with poverty and an overall lack of societal celebration of gay sexuality can negatively affect health and well-being. Research helps us understand the nature of these health disparities and the social/behavioural factors associated with them.

 

In this knowledge hub you can find timely research focused on advancing the sexual, physical and mental health and wellness of sexual minority men. The site considers issues relevant to GBM/MSM across their life span including HIV risk, sexual health, body image, living well with HIV, and attitudes towards eating.

 

Highlighted are the intersecting social conditions associated with health inequities. How do experiences of HIV stigma, racism, cultural attitudes, childhood sexual abuse, poverty, homophobia and ageism affect risk behaviours? What impact do these factors have on the physical, sexual and mental well being of sexual minority men and on their overall quality of life? What are the factors that foster GBM/MSM’s resilience to harmful health risks and enhance their health and well-being?

 

Social workers need answers to these pressing questions in order to design appropriate educational training, and effective health interventions and policies. Research found in this hub is the starting point for addressing and fixing health disparities.