Gay men’s sex survey shows improvement in sexual health services

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New research released today shows that gay and bisexual men are more satisfied with sexual health services in England and Wales than they were in the late 1990s. Although it’s still difficult to get an appointment in many clinics, once through the door men are reporting that they are happier with the service they’re receiving.

The annual Gay Men’s Sex Survey, undertaken by Sigma Research and commissioned by Terrence Higgins Trust, found that dissatisfaction with sexual health services fell between1998 and 2005, and that there was an increase in perceived service quality.

Will Nutland, Head of Health Promotion at Terrence Higgins Trust said, “Sexual health services in the UK have been under extreme pressure in recent years yet the quality of the service does not appear to have fallen. Clinics may be struggling to meet the 48 hour access target but despite pressures on staff, gay men are increasingly being treated with courtesy and respect and are receiving a professional service”.

The research also shows that more gay and bisexual men are being offered an HIV test at their last sexual health clinic visit than in previous years, with 86% of men whose visit was in the last year being offered a test in 2005.

Peter Weatherburn, Director of Sigma Research said, “The increase in HIV diagnoses among gay and bisexual men in recent years has been partially explained by a large increase in HIV testing. An offer of an HIV test is now the norm during a sexual health clinic visit which is excellent. It’s essential that as much is done as possible to identify the third of people who remain undiagnosed.”

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