Enter your email address to receive our daily LGBT news roundup

You're free to unsubscribe at any time.

Men urged to opt in for nationwide sexual health messaging service

Post your comment

Comments on this article are now closed.

Reader comments

  1. Link doesnt work

    1. Matthew Hodson 29 Nov 2011, 11:29am

      I’ve just emailed Pink News to let them know. I’m not sure what the problem is but f you type it into your browser (www.gmfa.org.uk/shms) it goes to the right page.

  2. Like the idea …

    It is really important contacts are passed on if infection is discovered so that others can act appropriately and with integrity

  3. You need to see this, the part about HIV and AIDS COMES at 55 minutes, it is worth watching, http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-8674401787208020885

  4. Sounds great in theory. Very admirable.

    Think about the potential for harm – really think about it. I’m worried about the fact that tens of thousands of gay men in this country will have their sexual history mapped out in someone’s database. We all know that data never stays secure. I’m not suggesting it will be sold, but it could conceivably fall into the wrong hands. I can think of various scenarios where this information can be used in unsettling ways. Most people can be personally identified from a mobile phone number or profile name without a great deal of effort. Anyone that has internet history is identifiable.

    It’s a scary world out there and there is not enough information regarding privacy policies of SMHS, GMFA and Gaydar etc. I just had a banner flashed at me on Gaydar tonight which eventually got me to this page. The information is so vague, and they’re urging people, like sheep to just say yes!
    We’re still victimised, we’re still not equal, we don’t know all the facts.

    1. Donal Heath 30 Nov 2011, 1:07pm

      Hi Jamie

      Obviously for this service to send messages to people, contact details need to be taken. However, as soon as our system has finished attempting to send a notification, it deletes all contact and other personally identifiable information from the database.

      Therefore, there will never be a situation where tens of thousands of gay men have their sexual history mapped out on a database. There will also never be a reason for anyone to know anything more about the way the service has been used than they need to know in order to improve this service. We will want to know how many notifications have been sent over a period of time, how many of these were successfully delivered, and so on, but we don’t need and won’t keep any personally identifiable data about the individuals who sent them.

      We wish we could have five minutes of everyone’s time to explain in detail how this service works, because we’re confident that most people would sign up to it after a full explanation. However, given that people generally prefer to spend as little time as possible thinking about their sexual risk management we have kept the urge to opt in to this service as short and simple as we felt we could. For those who want to read more about the service, they can visit http://www.gmfa.org.uk/shms. We’ve also produced a little video, to try to answer a few common questions and concerns about the service – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S2MuLzKr26Q.

      Yes, gay men still have to deal with social, legal and health inequalities, but we aren’t being victimised here – in fact we’ve had our needs recognised by the Elton John AIDS Foundation, and that’s why they funded GMFA to develop a service, which could just as easily benefit the straight community, for gay men first.

      It is worth highlighting that most men who are diagnosed with an infection and let their partners know about it will do so directly or ask their clinic to do it on their behalf. But in situations where diagnosed men find partner notification too difficult, this new service offers partners the opportunity to be informed where they would otherwise not be. And we’re urging men to opt in to receive messages on Gaydar and Recon, because it’s better to know than not know if you’ve been in contact with an infection, and the fewer undiagnosed infections there are in the community, the less likely we will all be to pick something up in the future.

  5. Jock S. Trap 15 Dec 2011, 12:23pm

    Something spineless about this that people cannot be honest though it could be better than people not knowing at all.
    -
    Having said that with the responsibilty taken whats to stop some just carrying on and on without a care in the world who they infect?

These comments are un-moderated and do not necessarily represent the views of PinkNews.co.uk. If you believe that a comment is inappropriate or libellous, please contact us.

Top commenters this week

Latest stories

See all