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[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Alcohol: The ‘spirit’ of gay men’s health

Jeffery Adams, MA1, Timothy McCreanor, PhD2, and Virginia Braun, PhD1. (1) Department of Psychology, University of Auckland, Private Bag 92019, Auckland, New Zealand, 64-9-373 7599 ext 82073, j.adams@auckland.ac.nz, (2) Centre for Social and Health Outcomes Research and Evaluation (SHORE) and the Whariki Research Group, Massey University, PO Box 6137, Wellesley St, Auckland, New Zealand

Health promotion for gay men has necessarily been directed towards the HIV/AIDS epidemic, and although other health issues affecting gay men are increasingly being recognised, there remains a lack of information about many specific health issues for gay men. Public health research has started to consider substance use by LGBT communities – including licit (such as alcohol and tobacco) and illicit drugs – with research indicating that alcohol use by gay men is particularly problematic. Gay men appear to use alcohol more heavily than men in general, and have different patterns of consumption. This paper identifies that alcohol use by gay men is a significant health issue for a number of reasons – including associations with risky sex. It demonstrates, using examples, how gay communities (especially in the US) are ‘targeted’ in numerous ways by alcohol companies promoting their products, and examines how gay communities have responded to alcohol use within their communities. It concludes that alcohol use, as a specific gay health issue, remains under-researched (both from public health and other perspectives), and that further research is required so that effective health promotion strategies can be developed specifically aimed at gay men. Effective health promotion for any group is dependent upon a detailed understanding of their culture and social practice. More sophisticated understandings of gay men’s cultures, discourses, practices and processes around health and masculinity are needed for the development and refinement of tailored, population-level health promotion strategies and environmental interventions aimed at improving the health and wellbeing of gay men.

Learning Objectives:

  • At the conclusion of the session, the participant (learner) in this session will be able to

    Presenting author's disclosure statement:
    I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

    [ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

    Gay and Bisexual Men's Health

    The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA