Seek help for substance abuse

In the U.S., gay men are more likely to smoke than are heterosexual men and gay men are more likely to deal with alcoholism than is the general population.

If you have a substance abuse concern, remember that help is available. Local lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender health, mental health, or community centers often provide substance abuse treatment. Organizations such as the GLMA also might provide referrals.

Recognize domestic violence

Domestic violence can affect anyone in an intimate relationship. Gay men might be more likely to stay silent about this kind of violence due to fear of discrimination and a lack of facilities designed to accommodate them.

Staying in an abusive relationship might leave you depressed, anxious or hopeless. If you don't want to disclose your sexual orientation, you might be less likely to seek help after an assault. Still, the only way to break the cycle of domestic violence is to take action — the sooner the better.

If you're a target of domestic violence, tell someone about the abuse, whether it's a friend, loved one, health care provider or other close contact. Consider calling a domestic violence hotline and creating a plan to leave your abuser.

Make routine health care a priority

Don't let fear of homophobia or the stigma associated with homosexuality prevent you from seeking routine health care. Instead, take charge of your health.

Look for a doctor who puts you at ease. Identify yourself as gay or bisexual, and ask about routine screenings recommended for men in your age group — such as blood pressure and cholesterol measurements and screenings for prostate, testicular and colon cancers.

If you're not in a long-term, mutually monogamous relationship, schedule regular screenings for sexually transmitted infections. Share any other health concerns you might have with your doctor as well. Early diagnosis and treatment help promote long-term health.

Oct. 05, 2017 See more In-depth