A full-scale vision of gay male health taking into account biological, psychological, social, emotional, spiritual and political aspects.
This means seeing health as an enabling resource in everyday life and not just the absence of disease.
It means realizing that gay men’s health also depends on economic and social factors known as health determinants and particular environmental and social stress factors. Stigmatization of homosexuality, which is very much alive and well today, as well as discrimination and violence faced by gay men all have a very adverse effect on their health and quality of life.
It means acknowledging that gay men care about their health, feel responsible for their health and can take care of themselves, others and their community with the support of their organizations. It is a community effort done in cooperation with the gay community and not just “on their behalf”.
It means valuing the unique history and heritage embodied in the fight against AIDS and the best practices and resources that came out of the response to the epidemic, particularly the community-based approach.
The concept of gay health is not meant to be a newfangled label under which to simply continue AIDS prevention. Sexual health and substance use are still relevant issues among gay men and are regularly the subject of specific projects and sensationalist articles in the media. These issues, among many others, are part of gay health. They are not, however, the most pressing problems for most gay men. Focusing exclusively on sexual health and substance abuse prevention reduces gay men’s lives to a hedonistic caricature and perpetuates a false image of the gay community to society.