Across Scotland, gay and bisexual men, and men who have sex with men, are disproportionately affected by HIV and poor sexual health.
The reasons for this are tied up in all kinds of other health inequalities, from issues including discrimination, drug and alcohol use, and poor mental health.
At SX we are all about trying to challenge these inequalities to help improve the sex, health and wellbeing of gay and bisexual men, and one of the issues at the heart of that work is sexual health testing.
From 11-17 September, we’re involved in Testing Week Scotland, a campaign about encouraging people to think more about how HIV, hepatitis C and STIs are passed on. We want to get the message across that once you #KnowYourRisk, you can do something about it through testing.
There are now lots of ways to access testing, including through the weekly M-test drop in service at SX. Through the service, you can get a full sexual health screen, and also access our other services for support with a range of issues affecting your health and wellbeing.
If testing flags up an infection, it’s important that people know that treatments are available. Today in Scotland, effective treatments are available for a whole range of STIs, hepatitis C can be cured, and HIV can be well managed. In fact, a person living with HIV, on treatment and with an undetectable viral load cannot pass HIV on to their sexual partner. You can find out more about STIs, including how they are transmitted on our STIs page
At SX, we recommend that men who are having regular sex should access testing every three months. This can help you to feel more in control of your sexual health and, while you’re in, we can also offer advice on prevention options that could work for you, like PrEP or condom use.
Why not use Testing Week as an opportunity to make regular testing part of your routine? Find out more about the testing options available on our testing page here.