HIV and Mental Health in Men who have Sex with Men

Lori LyonsMen who Have Sex with Men, Mental Health

Therapist talking to an older gay man in an office setting

The HIV epidemic disproportionately affects men who have sex with men. Nearly 59% of people diagnosed with HIV in Ontario in 2016 were men who have sex with men.

Men who have sex with men are biologically more vulnerable to HIV, but psychosocial factors can also influence that vulnerability. Recent research has shown that programs that help men build social support and community connectedness, as well as their resiliency in the face of oppression, can help protect them from HIV.

However, men who have sex with men and other members of LGBT2 communities also experience high rates of mental health challenges and addictions. OHTN has published a series of Rapid Responses about the impact of specific mental health and addiction issues on HIV risk and HIV care among men who have sex with men:

OHTN is working with members of our network, including the Gay Men’s Sexual Health Alliance and the AIDS Committee of Toronto (ACT), and with Ontario researchers to improve access to mental health and addictions services for men who have sex with men.