Heterosexual-identifying males who’ve intercourse with males: a population that is understudied

Authored by Tyrone Curtis, PhD prospect, Institute for worldwide wellness

Because the beginning of the HIV/AIDS epidemic within the 1980s, much health that is public is in the intimate health insurance and intimate behavior of males who possess sex with males, or MSM, plus in specific, males whom identify as homosexual or bisexual. Nevertheless, we all know significantly less about MSM who identify as straight or heterosexual. These men, whom we reference as heterosexual-identifying males who’ve intercourse with males, or HI-MSM, would be the focus of my research.

That are heterosexual-identifying MSM?

A lot of people, once they contemplate this team, have a tendency to think about guys who possess some attraction that is same-sex are “in the closet”; that is, males who’re “actually homosexual or bi” but just have actuallyn’t been able to admit it yet. This may be because they’re from the tradition that stigmatises homosexual or identity that is bisexual or because these identities conflict along with other identities these males hold. But, some HI-MSM don’t have a lot of to no attraction that is same-sexor otherwise not sufficient, within their view, to justify calling on their own bisexual), yet still enjoy intercourse along with other males. The sex they usually have with guys could be experimental, or something like that they are doing as well as feminine partners ( e.g. swingers). Intercourse with males may possibly provide some HI-MSM with a release that is sexual no further get due to their female lovers, without having the risk of psychological connection that could end that relationship. Other people might be alot more calm about their sexuality ( e.g. heteroflexibles or mostly straights), so that same-sex behavior is not a hazard with their heterosexual identification. Whatever the case, their behaviour that is same-sex is essential sufficient for them to determine their identification.

Information from NATSAL-3, a nationally representative study of Uk grownups aged 16-74 carried out in 2010-2012, declare that around 22percent of males with same-sex partners into the year that is previous as heterosexual, a tad bit more than those determining as bisexual (19%).

Just how do we learn heterosexual-identifying MSM?

There clearly was a challenge that is obvious learning this populace, which is: where do we locate them? Many studies of MSM recruit in-person at homosexual venues such as for instance pubs, groups and saunas, or online via homosexual internet sites or social/sexual networking sites and apps. Nonetheless, discernment is actually crucial that you HI-MSM, and in addition they are less likely to want to go to these places. As a result, many types of MSM recruit really HI-MSM that are few around 1-2%), helping to make analysis extremely tough. That is a significant aspect in our present bad comprehension of this populace.

Exactly why are we interested in heterosexual-identifying MSM?

There is certainly valid reason to believe that HI-MSM could be prone to poor intimate health. HI-MSM are less likely to want to disclose the intercourse they will have with males to healthcare providers, meaning they’re less inclined to get appropriate intimate wellness information, offered regular testing for STIs and HIV, or offered precautionary measures such as for example HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) or vaccinations for Hepatitis A & B. In addition, HI-MSM are usually less included with the LGBT community, either passively (since they do not have link with it) or through earnestly avoiding it. This implies they’re less confronted with intimate wellness promotions that are promoted in the neighborhood, are less confronted with the norms of this community ( ag e.g. regular HIV evaluation, condom use), and can even feel less comfortable resources that are accessing as intimate wellness solutions within that community, particularly if they are targeted towards homosexual guys. As a result, they may be defectively informed in regards to the dangers of the intimate behaviour.

In addition, these males are less inclined to reveal men to female partners to their sex, potentially making those partners less informed as it pertains with their own intimate decision creating, specially around condom usage along with other HIV/STI protective measures. This way, HI-MSM might also become a bridge between the homosexual and heterosexual communities for HIV along with other STIs.

What exactly is my project about?

The aims of my task are to explain and characterise the intimate behavior and sexual wellness of HI-MSM in Western Europe, the united states, Australia and brand brand New Zealand; to compare their intimate behavior and wellness to those of gay- and bisexual-identifying MSM; and also to know how HI-MSM perceive their danger during sexual encounters with men and women, their experiences of and attitudes towards intimate medical, including HIV/STI testing directions; and in addition their emotions about HIV prevention measure like PrEP.

In recognition for the challenges of recruiting big examples of this population, I’m conducting my research using practices that prevent the have to recruit a big test of hi-msm. One part of my task involves undertaking specific participant information meta-analysis of behavioural surveys of MSM from Western Europe, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Basically, this requires pooling data from all of these studies, all of which might have only a fairly tiny quantity of hi-msm, so that you can build a sizable sufficient test of HI-MSM by which to undertake analysis. Unique analysis strategies are utilized that take into consideration clustering within study examples and nations (in other words. guys within one nation are more inclined to become ukrainian brides at myrussianbride.net other males within that nation).

I’ll additionally be undertaking 15-20 semi-structured interviews that are qualitative HI-MSM inside the UK. This can let me ask more appropriate concerns than had been expected within the various studies contained in the meta-analysis (that have been written for MSM more general), as well as permit me to probe deeper into HI-MSM’s experiences, attitudes and feelings in regards to the intercourse they have (with both women and men) in accordance with regards to sexual health insurance and intimate health care.

By understanding more about the way HI-MSM take part in intercourse making use of their lovers, and about their experiences with and emotions regarding intimate health care supply, we could better comprehend their intimate medical requirements, and determine any gaps between these requirements and present solution supply. This may ideally cause more engagement that is effective HI­-MSM, leading to better intimate wellness both for them and their lovers.

keywords: intimate health, intimate behavior, intimate orientation, hidden populations, males who possess intercourse with males


Tyrone Curtis is really a second 12 months phd pupil with an intention within the intimate behavior and intimate wellness of MSM. Initially from Australia, he learned math during the University of Queensland before going to London in 2008. An MSc was completed by him in Applied Statistics with Medical Applications at Birkbeck university in 2014. If not at their desk, they can frequently be located in another of London’s parks hanging from a traveling trapeze.