Summit: Gay health too focused on HIV

By Advocate.com Editors

Originally published on Advocate.com May 14 2003 12:00 AM ET

Health officials speaking at the third National Gay Men's Health Summit, held May 7-11 in Raleigh, N.C., say that health efforts aimed at gay men are too focused on HIV/AIDS and need to be expanded to include numerous other issues, 365Gay.com reports. "What we're trying to do is create a multi-issue, multi-racial queer men's health movement," said summit spokesman Erik Libey, who works with AIDS Rochester in New York State. "It's about shifting directions in queer men's health, taking some focus off of HIV and AIDS, and putting it on some of the other health concerns. We're tying to motivate queer men to start a grassroots movement around our own health." More attention needs to be given to drug and alcohol abuse, tobacco use, eating disorders, body-image problems, the spread of drug-resistant staph infections, and all other sexually transmitted diseases, Libey said.

The summit offered more than 130 workshops and seminars on dozens of topics, including domestic violence, recovery, hepatitis, holistic medicine, prostate and testicular cancer, the use of the Internet as a health resource, and the phenomenon of men who deliberately seek to become infected with HIV. More than 320 people attended the event.