HIV/STD Prevention and Young Men Who Have Sex with Men

A series of HIV/AIDS Awareness ribbons

HIV/STD Prevention and Young Men Who Have Sex with Men

HIV/STD Prevention and Young Men Who Have Sex with Men

HIV/STD prevention that targets gay men seldom meets the needs of young men who have sex with men (YMSM*). Some YMSM do not relate to gay-specific messages because they do not self-identify as gay. Many fear the social stigma and violence—sometimes intensified by culture and religion—directed at those identified as homosexual. Others identify themselves as bisexual and do not internalize gay-specific messages. Some young men, unsure of their sexual orientation, view same-sex sexual behavior as experimental and temporary. Since they seldom identify as gay, these YMSM may not recognize unsafe behaviors that put them at risk for HIV/STD.