Study Finds Bisexual Men Disproportionately Affected By HIV & STDs
A new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine, reveals that bisexual men are disproportionately affected by HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.
It's important to note, however, that the study doesn't appear to distinguish between men that are living openly bisexual lives and those that are closeted or living on the "down-low."
According to study author William Jeffries, bisexual men are facing unique sexual health challenges.
Factors that may affect the sexual health include sex without condoms, forced sexual encounters, an increased number of sexual partners and attitudes toward pregnancy.
While the study notes HIV is less common in bisexual men than gay men, bisexuals are less likely to get tested for HIV which can increase the possibility of transmitting the virus to partners.
In the US last year, 21% of bisexual men reported STD treatment compared to 12% for gay men and 2.3% of straight men.
So what's behind the disproportionate level of STD treatment in bisexual men? Biphobia may play a key role according to Jeffries:
"Biphobia can manifest in erroneous beliefs that MSMW (men who have sex with men and women) are gay men who have not disclosed their sexual orientation and, particularly for black men, responsible for HIV transmission to women," he said.
"Experiencing these sentiments can contribute to MSMW's social isolation and psychological distress, which in turn may promote HIV/STI risk through substance use, sexual risk behaviors, and the avoidance of prevention services."
We're curious as to whether being "out" and living openly as bisexual correlates with improved sexual health.
Based on this, it sounds like increased awareness, understanding, and ultimately acceptance of bisexuality could play an important role improving sexual health of bisexual men and women and their partners.
What's your take, Instincters?