The Department of Health is funding a new “code of good practice” scheme for gay saunas and other venues where sex between men occurs.

Play Zone: Code of Conduct has been developed by HIV and sexual health charity Terrence Higgins Trust as part of the national HIV prevention programme.

“The Department of Health gave £20,000 of funding plus funding for a full-time project worker over a twelve month period to develop Play Zone initially as pilot in London and Brighton,” a THT spokesperson told PinkNews.co.uk.

“It will be reviewed later this year and potentially might be rolled out more widely.”

The new “code of good practice” was launched today for gay venues in London and Brighton.

It aims to create a safer environment for customers and staff by ensuring that sexual health, hygiene and health and safety standards are being met.

Venues such as saunas, bars and clubs will receive a manual to guide them through the process and free training for staff on HIV, sexual health, PEP, drug and alcohol awareness and first aid.

PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis) refers to anti-retroviral drugs given to people within 72 hours of exposure to the HIV virus.