TITLE

WARNING VOICES IN A POLICY VACUUM: PROFESSIONAL ACCOUNTS OF GAY MEN'S HEALTH IN AOTEAROA NEW ZEALAND

AUTHOR(S)
Adams, Jeffery; Braun, Virginia; McCreanor, Timothy
PUB. DATE
March 2007
SOURCE
Social Policy Journal of New Zealand;Mar2007, Issue 30, p199
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
Internationally, public health policy and practice are increasingly recognising and focusing on gay men's health issues beyond HIV/AIDS. Against this background we consider how gay men's health is understood and considered in Aotearoa New Zealand, including identification of problems, aetiology and possible solutions. Semi-structured interviews with key informants involved in diverse professional roles in areas related to health for gay men were undertaken and three overarching themes identified. First, informants identified gay men's health as a legitimate area of concern within health policy. Second, they framed gay men's health in biopsychosocial terms, but highlighted socio-political factors. Third, the informants suggested that broad health-promoting strategies, coupled with targeted strategies, are needed to improve gay men's health. However, informants confirmed that there is very little mainstream policy interest in gay men's health; similarly, they identified little interest in broader health issues within the gay community. These findings contrast with many international settings where health for gay men is an emerging area of policy concern and health promotion activity, in both mainstream and gay-specific settings. We argue that the invisibility of gay men within health policy contributes to disempowering gay men, which is likely to contribute to continued health disparities for gay men. To conclude, the policy implications of these findings are discussed.
ACCESSION #
24978842

 

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