Survey Of UK Gay Men Finds 19% Think They’re HIV-Negative Yet Never Tested

The UK’s GMFA health charity for gay and bisexual men reports that in its latest survey 19% of men who think that they are HIV-negative have never had an HIV test.

In what the organisation is calling it’s largest sexual health survey, other key findings include:

22% of the men asked did not know what ‘viral loads’ means. 23% didn’t know that people who are HIV-undetectable cannot pass on the virus, 25% did not know what PEP is and 24% of the gay and bisexual men had no idea what PrEP was which comprised mostly of young men under 17.

7% said they never use condoms for anal sex and 74% said they never use condoms for oral sex, however, 13% said they did not know HIV and STIs can be transmitted through oral sex

“It’s very clear from these results that there is still a major information gap about PrEP, PEP and what being HIV-undetectable means for men who are at the peak of their sexual activity. Many men under the age of 39 years old are lacking basic knowledge that could stop them from becoming HIV-positive.” Ian Howley, Chief Executive of GMFA explained of the results.

“Of younger gay and bisexual men. 284 gay and bisexual men under the age of 17 completed this survey. Of which, 78% have never had an HIV test, 61% don’t know what viral load means, 54% don’t know what HIV-undetectable means, 59% don’t know what PEP is and 60% don’t know what PrEP is. I think it’s quite alarming that so many young men, many who may be already sexually active or about to become sexually active, have a lack of vital sexual health knowledge. This shows a must of sex and relationship education for young people and this must include information for gay and bisexual teenagers.”

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