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Comment: Is a community in crisis beginning to self care

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  1. I think it’s a mistake to think that those who have less safe sex are all uninterested or turned off (so to speak) by current safer sex messages.

    I’m neither a teenager nor male, so I defer to other readers’ expertise.

    But FWIW, my understanding from talking to young gay guys is that safer sex messages often don’t reach the audience that needs them most. Not everyone having unprotected sex is making an informed choice to do so.

    A lot of young gay men I meet don’t understand how being positive affects your life, and surprisingly often they don’t know how to practice safer sex.

    How is a young man who goes from being the only gay kid in the village to discovering Grindr supposed to know how and why to stay safe, and how to tell his (confident, experienced) partner he wants to use condoms?

    Of course guys having crystal meth orgies need support too.

    But shouldn’t we start by making sure
    that every gay kid gets proper sex education, preferably at school?

  2. Well, if the sex-on-site venues are beginning to host discussions about preserving good health, as opposed to contracting infections on their premises, that’s a very very good thing.

    Let’s see what changes it brings about in the policies of those businesses.

  3. @David,

    Included should be the inequilities/stigma also faced by the LGBT Community.

    Should we not also welcome the various reports/consultations/needs assessments that affects the LGBT community.

    To wait 25 years for the first House of Lords report into HIV in the UK, though welcomed is too long a frameline to meet the needs of the present and future?

    I should also indite the National AIDS Trust, though welcome the recenlty published reports.

    NW London NHS recently also carried out a needs assessment on HIV prevention along with NHS SE London. I would like to further see a wider use of published reports on a wider topic agenda.

    With some 250,000 person identifies in London as LGBT, we are not all the same and are all at different stages of life which should be considered when making these statements?

    When Social Return on Investment takes hold or that of Payments by Results within the NHS or Third Sector, will it again we see the same issues resizing itself?

  4. In my experience the vast majority of men who have sex with men don’t go near anything gay-in fact they don’t even identify themselves as gay at all.
    They may be living in denial and self-delusional-but they represent a huge subculture that the gay self-help groups and support networks never ever see.
    However-it occurs to me that this “hidden majority” is never even acknowledged in these articles.

    1. You’re right. If you don’t lilke bars and clubs there are not man other options to express you’re gay identity.

  5. I think that funding for gay healthcare issues (HIV, drugs etc) has historically been given to very few organisations, especially one large organisation in particular. 

    As a result, the messages being delivered are quiet generic, tame and almost sanitised. Some say that the 50% increase in the number of people living with HIV in the last 5 years demonstrates a policy failure and reflects badly on how funding decisions have been made by commissioners.

    Smaller organisations, like Antidote and London Friend, don’t get the level of funding they need, yet they target particular segments of gay people with high needs. 

    We need a number of organisations giving out consistent, yet hard hitting messages, that are tailored to each segment of the different gay communities. And we need more people targeting the forgotten people of Vauxhall.

    I’ve seen so many intelligent people go rapidly down hill since taking G and mephedrone over the last few years. With those drugs, it’s easy to forget when

  6. I’ve seen so many intelligent people go rapidly down hill since taking G and mephedrone over the last few years. With those drugs, it’s easy to forget when the weekend ends. It’s just as easy to progress to taking Tina and getting involved in chem sex and taking your socialising off scene with aid of Grindr. 

    The whole gay experience has changed with new drugs and new technologies. And some health agencies need to keep pace with that.

  7. The most important thing in my view is to ensure that LGB & T opinions are adequately represented at those who will commission healthcare services. It is vital that those most at risk are represented so that new services can be developed to encompass issues such as mental health, drug & alcohol use HIV / Hep C.

    The “worried well” are often the most vocal but do not represent the most at risk individuals & going forward it will be vital to target scarce resources carefully.

    Individual / group support, mentoring & counselling do not come cheap, yet it is these essential services that should be commissioned to help those at serious risk of harm.

    Going forward I think LGB & T venues may be able to help the community lobby local Gov to ensure that we get a slice of the Public Health budget to develop local integrated services.

    NAT has been lobbying many local authorities to put the message out there; we as a community need to do the same to develop the change we wish to see.

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