Men urged to opt in for nationwide sexual health messaging service
The Sexual Health Messaging Service, which allows men to alert previous partners when they are diagnosed with an infection, is set to be rolled out to more clinics and websites with funding from the Elton John AIDS Foundation.
The GMFA has worked with Gaydar, Fitlands, Recon and Manhunt to develop a service which can notify past partners if a man becomes infected, and they are urging men to opt in to receiving the messages.
After receiving a diagnosis at a clinic, the system offers users a unique PIN code to access the online SHMS service.
Once there, contact details for recent sexual partners can be typed in, from mobile phone numbers to profile names.
Messages can be sent anonymously, but the GMFA says the recipient may be more likely to take action if a name is included.
The system, which began running as a pilot scheme in September at 12 clinics in major urban areas will now be rolling out to cover more sexual health centres.
As of today, Gaydar users will be presented with the option to either opt in or opt out of the service when they log on.
Simon Johnson, product manager at Gaydar.co.uk told PinkNews.co.uk: “The GMFA Sexual Health Messaging service is an initiative we hope will empower our members to lead happy and healthy sex lives.
“It’s never easy telling a partner you’ve been diagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease, but it’s an essential step in eliminating the risk of further transmission and seeking the correct treatment.
“We hope when the invitation is sent to the entire Gaydar community across the UK from the 29th of November, they say ‘YES!’ – and we would, of course, always encourage everyone to have regular check-ups to ensure they’re safe and healthy.”
GMFA polled over 3,000 members of British gay dating sites in 2010, asking if they would like to be told if a recent partner is diagnosed with a sexually transmitted infection. Over 98% of members said they would like to be informed.
Visit www.gmfa.org.uk/shms, for more information about the SHMS and instructions on how to allow messages on Recon and Fitlads.