Many gay men lead healthy and happy lives. However, evidence would suggest some gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (MSM) have specific health needs which, if not addressed, can result in poorer physical and mental health outcomes when compared to heterosexual men.

A GP practice is the main point of healthcare for people in the UK. Successful engagement with MSM begins at the reception desk. A welcoming environment displaying clear policies on confidentiality and equality can help establish relationships based on mutual trust and respect.

Previous work conducted by the West of Scotland Sexual Health Managed Clinical Network found that most MSM surveyed were registered with general practice and that the majority had seen their GP at least once in the past year. Most did not feel that disclosure of their sexual orientation and practice would have a negative impact on their care, yet very few had been asked about this.

If we can encourage MSM to disclose sexual orientation and practices in the safe environment of the surgery, their health and wellbeing needs can be more effectively addressed.

The WoS MCN has worked with NHS sexual health services, primary care, and leading 3rd sector organisations from sexual health/LGBT fields to develop a number or resources to help facilitate disclosure of sexual orientation.

Resources for your NHS Board area can be found in the tabs at the top of this page.