From BETA online:
Dr. Ron Stall, Professor of Public Health at the University of Pittsburgh, wants prevention efforts to leverage gay men’s strengths rather than focus solely on issues that put them at risk.
Stall’s work with the Urban Men’s Health Study uncovered “syndemics” among gay men: overlapping psychosocial health issues that have an additive effect. Of the health problems that overburden gay men, Stall observes, HIV/AIDS may only be the most recognized; according to his research, the disproportionately high HIV prevalence among men who have sex with men (MSM) goes hand in hand with documented higher rates of substance use, clinical depression, partner violence, and childhood sexual abuse.
At the same time, however, research by Stall and his colleagues uncovered “resiliencies” that help protect gay men’s health, such as the capacity to resolve substance use problems over time and the ability to remain HIV negative despite having experienced syndemic conditions that would ordinarily increase their HIV risk.
Tapping into these resiliencies, says Stall, could inform HIV-prevention and wellness interventions that truly resonate with gay men and help them keep themselves and their partners healthy and happy.