Unequal Opportunity: Health Disparities Affecting Gay and Bisexual Men in the United States

Richard J. Wolitski, Ron Stall, Ronald O. Valdiserri

Research output: Book/ReportBook

71 Scopus citations


Most public health students, academicians, and practitioners readily recognize the association between racial/ethnic minority status and the disproportionate burden of preventable disease in the United States. However, much less attention has been directed toward health disparities that affect gay and bisexual men. Until recently, the relative invisibility of this group, homophobia, and a lack of empirical data have hampered attempts to identify and characterize health disparities in this population. This book represents a comprehensive effort to review and synthesize evidence of health disparities among gay and bisexual men. It examines the evidence documenting health disparities across a wide range of health problems including mental health, suicide, alcohol use, tobacco use, drug use, violent victimization (hate crimes and intimate partner violence), sexual abuse, sexually transmitted infections, hepatitis, and HIV and AIDS. This book identifies individual and societal factors that contribute to these disparities and articulates how these "syndemics" or co-occurring and interacting epidemics may arise as a result of developmental experiences that are common to the lives of many gay and bisexual men in contemporary American society. Specific consideration is given to health care issues and the unique concerns and experiences of racial/ethnic minorities, younger men, and older men. Most important, this book identifies key directions for future research and articulates much-needed strategies for eliminating the multiple health disparities experienced by gay and bisexual men in the United States.

Original languageEnglish (US)
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages448
ISBN (Electronic)9780199863815
ISBN (Print)9780195301533
StatePublished - Sep 1 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Bisexual men
  • Discrimination
  • Gay men
  • Health care
  • Health disparities
  • Health inequities
  • Homophobia
  • Homosexuality
  • Mental health
  • Public health
  • Syndemics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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