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The majority of gay men are not disclosing their sexuality to their GP and so may not be getting the most appropriate sexual health care, a new survey concludes.

Less than half of gay men had informed their GP of their sexuality and a third said they would be unhappy for surgery staff to know their sexual orientation.

Almost 80 per cent of gay men had visited their GP within the past year but only 27 per cent had been to a sexual health clinic, according to the survey, conducted by the Terrence Higgins Trust.

The trust said the research was important, since the Department of Health was keen to see GPs take a growing role in the provision of sexual health services.

Will Nutland, head of gay men's health promotion at the trust, said barriers over disclosing sexuality would have to be overcome if GPs were to be able to offer the most appropriate sexual health care.

Dr William Ford-Young, chair of the RCGP's sex, drugs and HIV task group and a GP in Macclesfield, said: 'Sex and sexuality is an important part of a human being and therefore an inherent part of holistic health care.' He added that GPs should display equality notices in practices.

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