Gay men and other MSM community health profile


The gay men and men who have sex with men (MSM) community health profile has identified and summarised the national and local evidence concerning the health, lifestyle behaviours, and wider determinants of health that affect gay men and other MSM.

While this report primarily examines health disparities among gay men and other MSM in Birmingham, we have had to rely on data from the UK and internationally due to the limited information on health inequalities locally.

Community definition

'Gay men' refers to men who are attracted romantically or sexually to other men. This term primarily denotes a sexual and socio-political identity but also includes sexual behaviours.

The term 'MSM' mainly describes sexual behaviour. It refers to men who don't identify as gay or bisexual but engage in sexual activity with other men.

This profile primarily focuses on the experiences of gay men. However, it is important to note that the available data often combines gay men and MSM together, a reflection evident in this report. We recognize that while there might be some overlap in health disparities, the overall health and wellbeing experiences vary between gay men and other MSM.

Population size

Population size estimates have been taken from the 2021 census for England and Wales. However, the census did not include a category exclusively for gay men. The closest option under sexual orientation was 'gay or lesbian'. The data presented below follows the analysis of sexual orientation by sex.

  • England and Wales: 459,538 men identified as ‘gay or lesbian’ (0.95% of the total population)
  • Birmingham: 7,711 men identified as ‘gay or lesbian’ (0.9% of the total population)

Health and wellbeing

You can learn more about the health and wellbeing needs, and the identified health inequalities of gay men and other MSM by reading the gay men and other MSM community health profile report.

Available resources

To help you understand more about health inequalities among gay men and other MSM, we have produced several resources, including:

View all Gay and MSM Community health profile downloads


Watch our webinar which provides a summary of the demographics and key health inequalities among gay men and other MSM.

You can switch on subtitles once you have started to play the video. A menu will appear on the video screen.

Page last updated: 8 April 2024

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