Cancer and heart disease are the leading causes of death in all cisgender men, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But gay men and other cisgender men who have sex with men also have other unique health risks. The CDC defines the term men who have sex with men, or MSM, as a diverse group who have varying identities, behaviors and healthcare needs.
Some of the most pressing health issues facing the community are higher rates of STDs, tobacco and drug use, depression and body dysmorphia — a problem with body image, according to GLMA: Health Professionals Advancing LGBTQ Equality.
Quick Health Tips for Cisgender Gay and Bisexual Men
- Coming out to your provider will ensure you have the best care and receive all the testing you need to stay healthy. If your provider is not an ally, find another provider.
- Heart disease is a leading cause of death for all men. Get regular screenings for blood pressure, cholesterol and Type 2 diabetes.
- Cancer is a top cause of death for all men, but gay men may have increased risks. Get screened for prostate, testicular, colon, oral and anal cancers as recommended by your provider.
- MSM are at increased risk for HIV and other STDs. Know your status and get tested regularly to protect your health and the health of your partner.
- Practice safe sex to reduce your risk of acquiring or transmitting an STD.
- Ask your provider if PrEP/PEP can help you prevent HIV acquisition.
- Bisexual men are less likely to get tested for HIV and have elevated rates of HPV, which can lead to anal cancer. Make sure to get tested.
For more information, please visit: LGBTQ+ Guide | Health Risks, Prevention, Treatment & Help (drugwatch.com)