Two-thirds of gay and bisexual men 'don't use condoms'
A large number of gay and bisexual men admit to not using a condom the last time they engaged in anal sex. A survey conducted by Gay Men Fight Aids (GMFA) discovered that 65 per cent of gay and bisexual men weren't protected the last time they had sex.
A further 27 per cent of the 500 men surveyed said that they would describe their sex lives as "risky", suggesting a regular lack of condom use. Not using condoms can lead to the spread of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), including those that could have devastating effects on health, such as HIV and AIDS.
While condom use does decline when men are in long-term, committed relationships, not using protection with new or casual partners can put both people at risk.
David Stuart, who works at a London-based health clinic for gay and bisexual men, said: "We all measure risk differently. Some only associate risk with HIV; others consider all STIs to be a potential risk. For others, risk is measured by rejection for not being sexy enough, fit enough or interesting enough."
The advent of PrEP - the HIV-prevention drug - has also affected condom use among gay and bisexual men. While previously condoms were the only way to protect against the transmission of HIV, PrEP protects those taking it, while HIV-positive men with an undetectable viral load can also have sex without risk of passing the STD on.
However, PrEP does not protect against all STDs, meaning the lack of condoms can still put men at risk of catching sexually transmitted infections (STIs) like chlamydia and gonorrhea. Many STDs are also symptomless until they progress, meaning the infection could easily be spread.
As well as condom use, those engaging in intercourse should ensure they are undergoing regular STD testing, especially if they have a number of casual partners. This will help protect them and those they are having sex with.