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Home Topics Infectious Diseases Infections A-Z HIV and STIs HIV/STIs Prevention groups Men who have Sex with Men (MSM)

Men who have Sex with Men (MSM)

MSM image, courtesy shutterstock

Men who have sex with men (MSM) are a socially and culturally diverse group, some of whom may not self-indentify as 'gay'.  MSM remain at greatest risk of acquiring HIV infection within the UK with no evidence of declining infections in this group.



STIs in MSM 2011 cover

Latest report

Sexually Transmitted Infections and Men who have Sex with Men in the UK: 2011 Report

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HIV and STI specific MSM data

Sexual Health Messages:

Men who have sex with men can reduce their risk of getting or transmitting HIV, or a sexually transmitted infection, by:

  • Always using a condom correctly and consistently when having sex with new or casual partners, until all partners have had a sexual health screen.
  • Avoiding overlapping sexual relationships and reducing their number of sexual partners.
  • Having an HIV and STI screen at least annually, and every three months if having unprotected sex with new or casual partners.
  • Unprotected sex with casual and new partners who are believed to be of the same HIV status (serosorting) is unsafe. For HIV positive men, serosorting poses a risk of acquiring other STIs and hepatitis with serious treatment implications. For HIV negative MSM it carries the risk of HIV transmission (as a fifth of HIV positive MSM are unaware of their infection), as well as acquiring STIs.

How to get an HIV test:

Annual Reports and Related Information

  • MSM HIV Data
    HIV Data for Men who have Sex with Men (MSM)
    Added/updated: 4 April 2013