Have you ever had a healthcare provider who didn’t understand you?
Maybe you just didn’t feel comfortable with him, or maybe she was outright rude. Either way, having an open relationship with your physician is extremely important. Aside from the fact that you don’t want to work with someone looking down their nose at you, being able to raise concerns and discuss health issues openly and honestly is a major contributor to your long-term health.
As a gay man, there are a couple of issues that are particularly important to discuss with your healthcare provider.
Men who have sex with men are at disproportionately high risk for contracting HIV, in addition to other sexually transmitted infections. Many infections may not initially show symptoms so following up regularly for check-ups and discussing your sexual practices with your physician may end up making all the difference in the long run. Many healthcare providers are also able to provide you with other resources and referrals – when it comes to your doctor, it’s always good to talk!
The serious effects of HPV have only recently hit the forefront of health news. HPV has many strains, but it is mostly known for being the virus that causes genital warts. Genital warts are generally easy to treat, your healthcare provider can prescribe a removal cream, or, if needed, laser treatment. The concern with HPV isn’t the genital warts as much as it is cancer. Unfortunately, there aren’t many other symptoms of HPV to warn you, but the virus is now being linked to increased levels of anal and oral cancer. Oral sex can transmit HPV to the mouth and throat, causing problems in the long run. The virus is also transmitted through anal sex, possibly causing anal cancer. While this is difficult to test in men, keep up to date with your check ups.
If you are a sexually active man, find a healthcare provider that you are comfortable with and check in regularly. Reach out to a professional today!