Metro Weekly

A lot of UK gays didn’t use a condom the last time they had sex

Those who consider themselves HIV-negative really hate using condoms

Credit: philippe leroyer / Flickr

Credit: philippe leroyer / Flickr

A British gay men’s charity has found that a substantial number of gay men are neglecting to use condoms.

GMFA queried 3,000 British gays about their sex lives, which produced pretty damning evidence for the UK’s lax attitudes towards STDs and HIV. Some 72% of those surveyed didn’t use a condom the last time they had sex — anal or otherwise — with HIV-negative men in particular playing fast and loose with their sexual health.

Some of the survey results include:

  • Over 50% had less than 5 sexual partners in the past year
  • 55% of Brits consider themselves versatile
  • 58% had engaged in sex in the last week
  • Over one-third had met their last sexual partner through an app
  • 14% couldn’t name the last person they had sex with
  • Half of HIV-negative men were worried about contracting the virus, while 44% would not sleep with someone who was HIV-positive
  • Almost a quarter of those without HIV had no idea what “undetectable” meant
  • Over 70% of respondents would use PrEP if the British health service provided it
  • 90% of those with HIV used a condom the last time they had anal sex with a casual partner
  • That contrasts with just 34% of those who were HIV-negative, or considered themselves to be

GMFA’s Chief Executive, Matthew Hodson, said that the results “[illustrate] that there is still a need for more information about HIV in the treatment era and that given the right information we can change not only attitudes but also behavior.

“Our community remains plagued by low self-esteem, leaving many vulnerable to harmful drug taking and alcohol use,” he continued. “For many gay men expressing intimacy is a major challenge and all of these factors play a role in the poor sexual health that still besets our community. We’ve come a long way but so long as these health inequalities persist, we are not equal.”

The full survey (accompanied by some wonderful photography) can be found here. As an added bonus, those in relationships can feel suitably smug — according to the Brits, over 60% of those in monogamous relationships or marriages were happy with their sex lives, compared with just 27% of single men.

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Rhuaridh Marr is Metro Weekly's managing editor. He can be reached at rmarr@metroweekly.com.

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