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Comprehensive clinical care for men who have sex with men: an integrated approach.
Lancet.Jul 28, 2012;380(9839):378-87.
Mayer KH, Bekker LG, Stall R, Grulich AE, Colfax G, Lama JR.
Fenway Health, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02215, USA. khmayer@gmail
Men who have sex with men (MSM) have unique health-care needs, not only because of biological factors such as an increased susceptibility to infection with HIV and sexually transmitted infections associated with their sexual behaviour, but also because of internalisation of societal stigma related to homosexuality and gender non-conformity, resulting in depression, anxiety, substance use, and other adverse outcomes. Successful responses to the global HIV/AIDS epidemic will require the development of culturally sensitive clinical care programmes for MSM that address these health disparities and root causes of maladaptive behaviour (eg, societal homophobia). Health-care providers need to become familiar with local outreach agencies, hotlines, and media that can connect MSM with positive role models and social opportunities. Research is needed to understand how many MSM lead resilient and productive lives in the face of discrimination to develop assets-based interventions that build on community support. Optimum clinical care for sexual and gender minorities is a fundamental human right. MSM deserve to be treated with respect, and health-care providers need to interact with them in ways that promote disclosure of actionable health information.