Men who (also) have sex with men (MSM)
Are you a male who also has sex with other men?
In many Western countries, men who have sex with other men call themselves homosexual or gay. They come out, which means that they are open about their homosexuality. In other cultures, men also have sex with other men without putting a label on what they do. It just happens and sometimes there are no women around. Or they just enjoy having sex with men without attaching a name or a lifestyle to it. Read more about the risks of STIs and the importance of testing and treatment.
In many orthodox and non-orthodoxMuslim, Christian or Jewish communities, homosexuality is forbidden, or at the least is a taboo subject. Some men feel attracted to other men, but don’t want to or don’t dare to act on their feelings. Boys and men experiment with one another because they need to have sex without talking about homosexuality. In the Muslim culture, for example, great value is attached to a girl being a virgin when she marries and so having sex with a man is an alternative.
Because sex between men is often difficult to talk about or can’t be talked about at all and so it takes place in secret, the sex is usually unprotected with the accompanying risks of HIV and other STIs. In the Netherlands, the highest rates of STIs and HIV are among men from a non-Dutch background who also have sex with other men. Are you part of this group? If so, it is vital that you get yourself tested regularly and that you use condoms. You can also be vaccinated against hepatitis A and B.
And… are you at risk of contracting an STI?
Arrange to be tested as soon as possible and treated if necessary. Be aware of the risks of HIV and other STIs so that you can protect yourself and your partners and you can enjoy sex without worrying. Because sex is fun and should stay that way!
More information? Man to man!
The website Man to Man has been specially developed for men who have sex with other men. You can find information on:
Via Man to Man you can also arrange an STI and HIV test online without having to visit the Community Health Clinic or GP first. You can do this via Testlab. Getting an STI and HIV test via the Community Health Clinic and Testlab is free of charge and anonymous. Write on the form that you also have sex with men. The nurse and doctor have a duty of confidentiality.
If you have recently contracted HIV, you will recognise this from specific symptoms. These are fever, swollen lymph glands, a severe flu-like feeling and skin complaints. This is also called a primary HIV infection. Do you have these symptoms and have you had unprotected sex? If so, arrange to be tested as soon as possible.
Am I HIV positive?
An HIV infection can be detected more rapidly than ever. Get tested if you have symptoms that could be related to a primary HIV infection. Visit the site Heb ik hiv? and do the symptoms check. You can download a referral to the STI clinic in Amsterdam (GGD) for rapid testing and, if necessary, proper treatment.