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Sexual health Coming out plays important role in HIV prevention

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Gay men who have come out are more satisfied with their sex life, according to the study

(Keystone)

Being open about one’s homosexuality is an important step in preventing HIV. Openly gay men are more concerned with the risks of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases and are more likely to seek counselling, according to a Swiss study.

Researchers from the School of Social Work at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland interviewed 3,066 men in Switzerland who have sex with men. 

The study, carried out on behalf of the Federal Office of Public Health, found that those who have come out are more satisfied with their sex life. They are also more concerned about sexually transmitted diseases and seek more frequent advice from specialist agencies, the authors said in a statementexternal link on Thursday. 

“That could be down to the fact that openly gay men are better connected in the community and have better access to information,” said Patrick Weber, co-author of the report. 

However, Weber said coming out was not enough. “Equally important is social acceptance of sexual and gender minorities and a positive reaction when someone comes out,” he said. 

More than half of the respondents reported negative experiences due to their sexual orientation, such as insults or threats.


Keystone-SDA/ts

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