Data Show that the Criminalization of Consensual Sex Harms Gay Men | #GMHR

It is well known that gay and bisexual men and other men who have sex with men continue to be disproportionately impacted by HIV worldwide.

Using data from the Global Men’s Health and Rights Study, we examined the impact that criminalization of consensual sex between men had on various outcomes.

Overall, men from all countries had inadequate access to HIV and other health services. However, the situation was significantly worse for men living in criminalizing countries. 

Compared to men from non-criminalizing countries, men from criminalizing countries were more likely to have experienced provider discrimination; and to have had poor access to HIV-prevention services, including PrEP. Additionally, men living with HIV had poor access to HIV-Care. 

Conversely, men from criminalizing countries indicated significantly lower community engagement with other gay and bisexual people.

The study findings show that criminalization is harmful to gay and bisexual men’s health and well-being.

Comprehensive HIV responses must include decriminalization and structural-level interventions, which are essential to address the specific needs of gay and bisexual men.

For more information about the results of the 2019 Global Mens Health and Rights (#GMHR) Survey, check out our research posters which were featured as part of AIDS2020 Virtual