Demand for gay health services rising

  • Deborah Condon

The demand for health services aimed specifically at gay and transgender men is increasing, a new report has shown.

The HSE Gay Men's Health Service (GMHS) was established in 1992 and it provides a range of services, such as STI (sexually transmitted infection) testing and counseling.

According to the service's 2012 annual report, almost 6,000 men attended various GMHS clinics last year. More than 800 of these were first-time attendees, an increase of 5% compared to 2011.

Furthermore, around four in 10 of those who attended were aged 24 or younger - this marks a 20% increase on men in this age group using GMHS services compared to 2011.

There was also a 25% increase in service users from Dublin, Kildare and Wicklow compared to the previous year.

The number of HIV tests jumped by 39% last year compared to 2011.

Almost half of people diagnosed with HIV and gonorrhea, and one in three people diagnosed with syphilis and chlamydia, were first time attendees.

Altogether, 261 men received a diagnosis of gonorrhea in 2012, a 43% jump since 2011. Meanwhile 52 men learned they were HIV positive, a 37% increase on 2011's figure.

While more than 150 men were diagnosed with chlamydia, this marked a decrease on the figure for 2011.

However, the number of men diagnosed with syphilis (56) marked a 22% increase on 2011's figure.

The report was launched at the 11th annual Gay Health Forum, which was organised by the GMHS and the Gay Health Network.

For more information on the GMHS, click here



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