It is extremely important to understand that gay individuals, bisexuals, and other men who have sex with men are not a homogenous group; therefore, their health and behavior are shaped by a wide range of factors that include, but are not limited to, race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and age. It means that in order to address the problem of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) at the population level, it is necessary to understand the interplay between these factors.
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Given that epidemics of HIV in gay men are on the rise in most countries, it is essential to diagnose the disease early. Not only will it help to improve health outcomes for afflicted individuals, but it will also help to curb the spread of HIV (Campbell, 2013). In order to improve capacity and partnership for action, training materials and guidelines should be disseminated among local healthcare professionals.
In terms of additional information that is necessary for the determination of appropriate interventions for the problem, the following data points should be gathered: sexual identity, employment, education, ethnicity, substance use, behavioral information, last HIV test, relationship with regular male partner, HIV status of regular male partner, pre-exposure and post-exposure prophylaxis, and confidence in discussing contraception with partners (Holt et al., 2012).
When developing the interventions, it is necessary to alter environments in which gay men live and work; therefore, “community-level interventions require collective involvement through volunteerism” (CDC, n.d., p. 1). The involvement of local healthcare professionals will help to reduce the level of circulation of the virus. The participation of LGBT organizations and media is also instrumental in lowering the community viral load.
Campbell, S. (2013). Sexual health needs and the LGBT community. Nursing Standard, 27(32), 35-38.
Fredriksen-Goldsen, K., Simoni, J., Kim, H., Lehavot, K., Walters, K., Yang, J., & Hoy-Ellis, C. (2014). The health equity promotion model: Reconceptualization of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) health disparities. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 84(6), 653-663.
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Holt, M., Murphy, D., Callander, D., J., Rosengarten, M., Kippax, S., & Wit, J. (2012). Willingness to use HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis and the likelihood of decreased condom use are both associated with unprotected anal intercourse and the perceived likelihood of becoming HIV positive among Australian gay and bisexual men. Sexually Transmitted Infections, 88(1), 258-263.
Lim, F., Brown, D., & Jones, H. (2013). Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender health: Fundamentals for nursing education. Journal of Nursing Education, 52(4), 198-203.