Campbell, Wesley R., Mojgan Jahan, Mary F. Bavaro, and Robert J. Carpenter. “Primary Care of Men Who Have Sex With Men in the U.S. Military in the Post-Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Era: A Review of Recent Progress, Health Needs, and Challenges.” Military Medicine 182, no. 3/4 (April 3, 2017): e1603–11. https://doi.org/10.7205/MILMED-D-16-00255.
With the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT) in 2011 and the passing of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in 2013, military members of the lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) orientation can openly serve the country and provide the usual benefits for their same-sex spouses as heterosexual service members could for their spouses. Before the repeal of DADT, MSM in the military was at 2.2%, compared to the civilian counterparts’ 3.2%.
This source urges that MSM continue to be at higher risk for disparities involving mental and sexual health. Only recently have MSM been included in national health surveys, making it difficult to compare their previous health patterns and statistics.
Mental Health Disorders
Syndemic factors (a set of linked health problems involving two or more inflictions
) including “depression, childhood sexual abuse,” and polysubstance abuse generally lead to higher likelihood of health problems, such as HIV. Studies show MSM have higher rates of IPV. Those with IPV were more likely to be depressed, have HIV, and participate in risky sexual behavior. This source also addresses the fact that there is little information on the mental health of homosexual servicemen. Fortunately, a study found an association between depression and the concealment of sexual orientation in the military.
Since the repeal of DADT, communication between MSM patients and their providers has been easier. Disclosure of sexual orientation has been documented, in a U.S. military study, as increasing amongst SMs. The source states that there has been an “early adoption of enhanced STI and anal cancer screening”, which recognizes the value of mental health resources to build resiliency. The healthcare focus for MSM is shifting to expand over social and mental health, as opposed to the original focus of just sexual health. The authors make their final statements, urging that providers must be prepared to discuss MSM’s health respectfully and without any judgement.
The source advises providers aware of the connections between mental health and sexual preference to screen their patients’ behavioral health.
This source is a more up-to-date document, written in 2017, which gives the research a current standpoint on the situation at hand involving MSM in the U.S. military after the DODT policy. This source also explores the health needs, sexually and mentally, and remaining issues, relating to the previous annotations in the overarching theme of health challenges for MSM and AIDS in servicemen. As discussed in other sources, there is a lack of studies on MSM or gay/bisexual men in the military, and there are still problems concerning their sexual and mental health that needs to be fixed.
With the source using 110 other sources, it seems like the authors have a credible background in writing this, however, whether there is an issue with this being published in Military Medicine or not, I am uncertain. On one hand, this could present an idea of bias because the publishers may only want to hear a positive progression in healthcare. On the other hand, this may just make the source more credible in its knowledge and reports on the information given.