Young gay men being failed by sex education system

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Many young gay men under 20 do not know basic facts about preventing HIV transmission:

  • 51 percent did not know that HIV is more likely to be passed on if he or his partner has another STI
  • 31 percent did not know that water based lubricant reduces condom failure
  • 14 percent did not know that HIV is more likely to be passed on if a man ejaculates inside his partner.

Will Nutland, Head of Gay Men’s Health Promotion at Terrence Higgins Trust said: “Once again, research is showing that young gay men are being failed by the sex education system. We are now seeing a post-Section 28 generation of young gay men who are embarking on their sex lives without even the most basic knowledge about how to protect themselves from HIV. Sex and relationship education programmes in schools and colleges need to increase their contribution to meeting young gay men’s sexual health needs”.

Peter Weatherburn, Director of Sigma Research said: “Our research indicates that young gay men have the greatest HIV prevention need. Compared with other age groups, gay men under 20 are most likely to have been forced to have had sex, are most likely to have problems accessing condoms, and are least likely to benefit from free condom distribution schemes”.

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