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Gay, Bisexual and Men who have sex with Men

What does this mean? 

Gay: A man who has a sexual and/or romantic attraction towards men. The term can also be used to describe homosexuality in general.

Bisexual: Someone who has sexual and/or romantic attraction to both women and men. It is often used as an umbrella term that can include any other orientations where there is attraction to more than one gender.

MSM: Men who have sex with men.

Sexual health


Wearing condoms significantly reduces the risk of STI and HIV transmission. Make sure you’re doing it right- for more information on how to use a condom properly, click here. Remember to use water based lube. Oil based lubes weaken condoms and can cause them to break. 


The earlier you are diagnosed with HIV, the sooner you can start on medication. HIV medications are so good that you should be able to live a long and healthy life. Someone who is on effective HIV medication can't pass it on (undetectable=untransmittable). It’s important to get tested for HIV regularly so that you can catch it early and start treatment. Click here to find out more about our support services for people living with HIV. 

If you have been at risk of HIV transmission in the last 72 hours (for example, if your condom split or you had condomless sex with someone who is living with HIV) you can go to your local sexual health clinic or A&E and ask for PEP. PEP is a 28 day course of medication which significantly reduces your risk of HIV infection. The sooner you start taking PEP after the exposure, the better. Click here for more information. 

PrEP is a medication that can prevent you from catching HIV if you take it correctly. It is available from certain sexual health clinics in England as part of the IMPACT trial. Please contact us for more information and if you’d like to be a part of the trial. For more information about PrEP, including how to take it correctly, click here. YorsexualHealth can undertake monitoring and testing for those who are taking PrEP outside of the trial. 


Men who have sex with Men are also particularly at risk of catching Syphilis. It can be passed on through direct skin contact with someone who has a Syphilis rash or sores, or through unprotected sex. It is diagnosed with a blood test and is treated using antibiotics. It develops in three stages, each of which have different symptoms. For more information about this, check out this video:

Hepatitis B and C are infections that affect the liver. They can be passed on through unprotected sex or sharing drug taking equipment. You can get tested for Hepatitis B and C at YorSexualHealth. We can also give you your Hepatitis B vaccination if you are at risk of catching it through sex. Find out more about Hepatitis B and C by watching this video:

You can also get testing and treatment at YorSexualHealth for other STIs, including Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea. Visit our Clinics and Services pages for our opening times and contact details.

Click here if you live in York.

Click here if you live in North Yorkshire.

HPV (Human Papillomavirus) is an STI that is spread by skin to skin contact. Certain types can lead to anal, penile or throat cancer. If you are a man who has sex with other men aged 15-45, you can get vaccinated for HPV at YorsexualHealth. Please click here for more information. 

Useful links and support

NHS Gay health: http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/LGBhealth/Pages/Gayhealththeissues.aspx

Yorkshire MESMAC: www.mesmac.co.uk

Stonewall: www.stonewall.org.uk