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Health risks faced by gay men

March 23, 2009

Anyone can have health problems. Sexual orientation is not actually a decisive factor, when it comes to a person’s chance of getting infected. Gay men are also likely to face certain common health problems. Studies indicate that although the overall infection of certain sexual disorders such as gonorrhea is on the decline, there is a steady rise in the rate of gonorrhea infection among gay men.

Between men, gonorrhea is generally transmitted through unprotected means of anal intercourse and oral sex. Because of the close association between gonorrhea and HIV, a rise in gonorrhea cases will consequently lead to a subsequent hike in HIV rates as well.

The instances of genital and anal warts that are caused by infection with the human papilloma virus are also found to be extremely common among gay men. It has been reported that anal warts are more likely to occur in gay men. Anal warts occur mainly as a consequence of unprotected anal intercourse and direct penis-to-rectum contact.

Hepatitis A is yet another sexual disorder that is transmitted through the oral-fecal route. Sexually transmitted hepatitis A infection mainly occur a result of oral-anal contact. That is why this infection is found to be more common among gay men. Oral-anal contact also leads to many other bacterial and parasitic infections. An unfortunate fact is that many members of the gay community are unaware about the existence of preventive vaccine against hepatitis A.

Hepatitis B is transmitted in the same way as HIV. But, hepatitis B is found to be more infectious than HIV. Between men, this infection mostly gets transmitted through unprotected anal intercourse and also through oral sex. Sharing of drug needles, a common practice among gay men, also leads to hepatitis B infection. Strong efforts need to be taken to make gay men aware of the availability of the vaccine which helps in the prevention of this disorder.

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