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Some gay men, especially those who are hiv positive, might have a higher risk of anal cancer. Knowing about these cancers and what you can do to help prevent them or find them early (when the cancer is small and might be easier to treat) may help save your life. Anal cancer in gay men or men having sex with men (msm) has the appearance of being the next major health crisis within the gay community. gay and bisexual men are at significant risk for developing anal cancer, and testing them for the disease would save many lives, says a new study in the american journal of medicine. The study shows that anal cancer comes from the sexually transmitted virus hpv. What it doesnt mention is why the gay community is so susceptible to contracting hpv. Goldstone, assistant clinical professor, mount sinai school of medicine, new york, and medical director of gayhealth. Com, said that he sees many gay men in his general surgery practice. The appearance of anal cancer in this population is a recent but growing phenomenon, dr. Anal cancer is a relatively rare cancer in the general population. However, its incidence among men and women has been steadily increasing. Gay men experience rates of anal cancer of up to 20 fold higher than the general population. 17 18 for hiv-positive gay men, the risk is further elevated.