Gay Men's Explanations of Health and How to Improve It.

Published: April 4, 2013


Little is known about the health views of gay men. In this article we report on how gay men explained health and the ways they discussed how health for gay men can be improved. We conducted a thematic analysis of data collected from 45 gay men in 11 focus groups and identified that health was mainly explained in individual terms, as were the ways to improve health (personal health care services and health promotion). The second way health was explained drew on social and community factors, with the societal acceptance of gay men being reported as essential for health improvements. These individual and social/community approaches were in tension; overall, the individualized approaches dominated. In line with other theorizing in health, we argue that appropriate policy and service provision to meet the health needs of gay men require greater acknowledgment of the social and community explanations of health and ways of improving health.

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