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Clinician's Corner
November 15, 2006

Optimizing Primary Care for Men Who Have Sex With Men

JAMA. 2006;296(19):2362-2365. doi:10.1001/jama.296.19.2362

Over the past 2 decades, the literature on the health care needs of gay men and those who may not identify themselves as such, but are men who have sex with men (MSM), has been dominated by issues related to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) prevention and care. This focus on HIV remains critically important; at least a quarter million MSM are living with HIV in the United States and approximately 20 000 more will likely become infected this year.1 Nevertheless, the vast majority of MSM are not HIV-infected but still require high-quality medical care that is culturally competent and targeted to their needs. Unfortunately, the most comprehensive articles about the medical care of MSM who are not HIV-infected date from the dawn of the AIDS epidemic more than 20 years ago.2 Current standard sources of practical medical information for primary care practitioners do not sufficiently address the routine care of MSM.3 This is true even though the Department of Health and Human Services' Healthy People 2010, a document produced each decade to outline national health goals for the years ahead, identifies gay men and lesbians as 1 of the 6 most underserved groups.4