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“My boyfriend brought home an STI” THe fIT and Sexy gay Mag ISSUe #122 WInTeR 2011

12

steps To THe beST yeaR eveR

CheCk me out

Re-start your sex life Why sport is right for you

Find out why you should gEt chEckEd out too

Be proud! it’s lgBt history Month


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Hello

So how’s it going?

So how are those New Years resolutions coming? Yeah, we haven’t kept ours either. But never fear FS fans, our 12 Steps to a Better 2011 feature is full of great advice on how to make this the best year ever. Most guys don’t even like going to the GP, much less a sexual health clinic. But if you are out there enjoying a happy sex life with different partners, it’s important that regular visits to the clinic are part of your routine. And you Join us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/fsmag know what? It’s not scary at all. Check out the feature on page Come on... do it now! 16 to find out more. Remember you can always view the mag Brought to you by online with our online viewer at www.gmfa.org.uk/fsmag. And the FS app for iPhone and iPad is desperately close to being ready. Keep an eye on our Facebook profile to be the first to know when it’s launched! In the meantime, enjoy the issue. Cary James, Editor Do you think you could write for FS? If so, email fsmag@gmfa.org.uk to find out how to apply to be a freelance writer for the mag. www.gmfa.org.uk

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FS122_P05_Upfront_FS 03/02/2011 23:41 Page 5

!

UPFRONT

We are history

Yes that’s right, it’s LGBT History Month – a time to celebrate the lives of and recongnise the impact LGB&T people have had on the world of ours. Some of our favourites are: the Emperor Hadrian (of Hadrian’s Wall fame), Harvey Milk (1970s gay rights pioneer), Oscar Wilde (you know who he is, right?), Alan Turing (who basically invented the computer), and some guy named Michelangelo, to name but a few. But it’s not just a time to be proud of others but to be proud of ourselves as well… we will all be part of gay history one day. So we asked some of our fans on Facebook to think about stuff that as gay men they are proud of, and here’s what they said:

Jake: “I'm proud to be me because, after living my life in denial, I'm finally out! It's been two years and my life has never been better. I wrestled with it for years and endured people being derogatory. I put my fear aside, and check me out! :)”

RyRy: “I’m proud to be a gay man because if I tried hiding who I was, I'd be lying to myself.”

DrWetPaint: “I’m proud to be a gay man because gay men have made a significant contribution to the prevention, and public understanding, of HIV and AIDS.” David “I can be true to myself and others, creating a great aura around me wherever I go.”

Josh: “I'm proud to be me because I grew up in a very working class part of New York. Surrounded by drugs and violence, I was able to keep myself clean. Being gay was something I was never ashamed of but I felt I couldn't be myself back home. Since moving to the UK I have become open and honest about who I am and not afraid to be myself. I'm proud of where I came from but I'm more proud of who I am today.”

Paul Murray: “Because I can meet the man of my dreams and marry him.”

Martin: “I have lived long enough to see change. To see power and respect. To see beauty grow through diversity. Because I am me and you are you and we are special.”

Matthew: “I don't have to be bound by the macho stereotypes of a straight man.”

Leon: “I'm putting my own stamp on gay life! Everyone is changing for the future and I'm happy to say so am I.” l LGBT History Month takes place every year in February. It celebrates the lives and achievements of the LGBT community. This year the focus is on LGBT people in sport. Check out our special feature on page 6 on why sport could be for you. To find out more about LGBT History Month events in your area visit www.lgbthistorymonth.org.uk. www.gmfa.org.uk

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FS122_P06-07_PAGE6_FS 03/02/2011 23:43 Page 6

6 upfront

1

reasons to play sport

It’s good for you

OK, this is obvious, but totally true. It will make your heart healthier, improve your circulation and help with weight loss. It improves balance, strength, co-ordination, flexibility, endurance and motor control, and can even make your brain work better.

2

Energy

Exercising in any way causes you to breathe more. The more you breathe, the more oxygen that circulates through your system. The more oxygen, the more “There energy. Simple. And are gay that’s not just when sports groups you’re doing the sport. Your everywhere increased lung doing everything capacity means from volleyball that you’ll enjoy an energy boost all to fencing.” day, even when you’re not playing.

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3

It makes you happy

Sport improves self-esteem and makes you feel good about yourself because you are doing and learning new things. Studies have shown that people who play sport, or do any physical activity, have a more positive outlook on life and believe in themselves more.

4

It helps you relax

Physical activity has been shown to reduce stress levels. While competitive sports may temporarily increase those stress levels, this only lasts during the match. Afterwards people feel less stressed than they would have done if they had stayed in and watched the telly.

5

It’s fun

Don’t you hate it when you miss an issue of FS? We’ll make sure that never happens again...

Probably the most important thing – sports are fun. Find something that you love. There are gay sports groups everywhere doing everything from volleyball to fencing, rowing to football. If you try something and it’s not fun, then it’s not the sport for you. Try something else. Soon you will find something that you really enjoy and it will improve your life for years to come.

6

It’s social

Participating in a sport gives you the opportunity to socialise and meet new people. It doesn’t matter if it’s a team sport or a one-on-one competition, you will still make new friends that could last a lifetime. Plus it helps you develop better communication skills. Learning to be part of a team can help you to be successful at work and in lots of other areas of life. l To find a sports group in your area, visit www.gmfa.org.uk/theguide.

Just email your name and email address to fsmag@gmfa.org.uk or join us on Facebook. We’ll let you know when the next issue is available online and other cool stuff.

Do iT now! www.gmfa.org.uk

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FS122_P09_Sex Feature_FS 03/02/2011 23:56 Page 9

upfront

Re-start your sex life Here are our tips on how to make sex in 2011 your best ever... Put some condoms and lube in your bag You never know when you may pick up, so having condoms on you at all times just makes sense. Put one in your wallet as well: just make sure you change it every month or so if you haven’t used it, otherwise it may get damaged.

Invest in some lube Not only does good lube make sex feel better, it also helps prevent condoms from breaking. Those little packets you get in free condom packs are good, but they aren’t always enough. Buy yourself a bottle of good water-based or silicone-based lube and keep it handy. You can buy low cost lube at www.freedoms-shop.nhs.uk.

Try something different Whether you are in a one-on-one relationship or shagging around, it’s easy to get into a sexual rut. Try new postitions, different locations, slap his arse and call him Nora, anything to break the routine and spice things up.

Talk, talk, talk Don’t be afraid to speak up about what really gets you going in the sack. If there’s something you want him to do, say it. No one can read minds. Or if there’s something going on that you aren’t into, say something then too. The more you understand each other, the better the sex will be.

Listen, listen, listen It’s very important to find out what your partner wants and what turns him on. If he’s happy, he much more likely to make you happy in return.

Don’t assume Lots of us assume things about shags even though we don’t really know them. Whether or not they have the same HIV status as you do is a big one. Most of the time you simply can’t tell if someone has HIV or not. So if you’re about to do something that could put you or your partner at risk, stop and think again. Condoms are the best way to avoid HIV and using one isn’t something you’re likely to regret in the morning.

l For more info about sex and how to make it safe, visit www.gmfa.org.uk/sex.

Have fun

Remember sex is meant to be fun, relax and enjoy it! www.gmfa.org.uk

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FS122_P10-14_2011 feature A_FS 03/02/2011 23:58 Page 10

LifestyLe

12 steps to a better

2011 So how are those New Year’s resolutions going? Nowhere you say? Well you’re not alone, but there is a better way to make changes that really matter.

“The best way to make New Year’s resolutions that work is to forget about the 1st of January and think instead about 31st December 2011,” says life coach Adam Clark. “How would you like your life to be by then? Where do you want to be in terms of relationships or work or your health?” Once you’ve answered those questions and decided what you want to achieve by the end of this year, it’s time to turn those answers into actions. To get you off to a good start, here are 12 things you might want to tackle in the next 12 months:

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#1Eat better food

keep active and shield yourself from the many diseases that are common as we grow older, including heart disease and diabetes,” says Mario Prevost, a personal trainer at Soho’s Living the fast-paced lives that we Sweatbox Gym. “By eating healthy do today, convenience foods like you are boosting your energy levels, ready meals and takeaways can improving your bodily functions, and seem to be the ideal choice – but eat helping to improve your immune too much fast food and you’re system. By combining this with fast-forwarding your body towards a exercise you could end up leading a fat and salt overload. longer and more vibrant life.” If you simply can’t dump junk food, Choosing fresh and organic produce try to counteract the bad with some and cooking your own meals from stuff that’ll do you good. “If you’re scratch is the way to go. “Eating eating loads of fatty foods and not a healthy is probably the easiest and lot of fresh fruit and vegetables, then most important way in which you can


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you’re probably not getting the nutrition you need to keep you and your immune system as healthy as possible,” explains GMFA’s Matthew Hodson. “If you have some fruit for breakfast, snack on an apple or a banana, have a fruit juice at some point during the day, and two portions of veg with your main meal then you’ve hit the target of five portions a day.” Having a healthy and balanced diet is a good idea for everyone, but can have additional benefits as you get older or if you’re HIV-positive. “As we get older our metabolism changes so our digestive system gets slower,” says Mario. “So past 30 we have to adapt, get rid of the junk, and keep track of what we eat.”

“There are so many ways to keep fit and remember it’s all a choice.”

“A good diet can help to keep your immune system strong and maintain high energy levels,” adds Matthew. “Good nutrition can help your body deal with infections, and if you’re HIV-positive, can even help reduce the side effects of some anti-HIV drugs.”

Smoking isn’t the only vice that gay men are more likely to succumb to than the general population. “We are more likely to take recreational drugs,” says GMFA’s Matthew Hodson. “And some evidence suggests that we drink more too.” Cutting down on the quantity of

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#2 Cut back on the drugs and booze

www.gmfa.org.uk

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LifestyLe drugs and booze we consume can percent. “Smoking can be even more damaging to your health if you are have many health benefits, so HIV-positive,” adds Matthew. moderation is the order of the day “HIV-positive smokers are at a higher for 2011. risk of smoking-related illnesses than You may find that when you are drunk or off your face, you do things HIV-negative smokers, and smoking can increase the risk of HIV-related you would not do when you are illnesses occurring. I’ve heard HIV sober. This could include things like doctors saying that, other than telling yourself that it's OK to have unprotected sex with someone 'just adhering to HIV treatments, stopping smoking is the single most important this once'. That's why it's important thing that HIV-positive people can do to plan for safer sex. to improve their health and life If you intend to drink alcohol or expectancy.” take drugs when you go out, take There’s plenty of help available for condoms and lube with you, or There’s even a free Quit Smoking app know where to get them. This for the iPhone: it provides daily should help to increase your support, links to local NHS chances of using condoms when Stop Smoking services, you need them. Thinking about the and tracks how much kinds of sex you want and don't want can help too. If you know your money you’re saving. “Giving up sexual boundaries when you're smoking at any age sober it will make you more likely will increase your to make the same choices when life expectancy,” you're not. continues GMFA’s It's important to be informed Matthew Hodson, about the drugs you take. Some drugs not only affect the way you “provided you think, they can also increase the risk stop before you of HIV transmission. For example, develop cancer or poppers (amyl nitrite) has been another serious linked with an increased risk of HIV disease.” transmission if you’re getting Stopping smoking won’t just increase your fucked. Drugs such as coke, crystal life expectancy – it can also or ecstasy may make you more improve your sex life. “Men who vulnerable to infections, including HIV.4 Crystal meth has also led to an smoke are more likely to have difficulties getting or maintaining an increase in the level of viral load in HIV-positive men, which means that erection,” explains Matthew. they will be more infectious. “Smoking can also have an impact on your stamina, meaning that you can’t keep going for as long.”

#5 Get fit Feeling guilty for overindulging over Christmas? Anxious that you need to look good on a beach in Speedos in less than six months? It’s fears like these that see gym memberships increase every January. But guilt and anxiety won’t deliver the results you want. Instead, by learning to enjoy the gym you’ll go more frequently, you’ll stay and exercise for longer, and you’ll look forward to your next visit. “Be happy, be healthy,” agrees personal trainer Mario Prevost. “Make your workout fun. A personal trainer will make a big difference, and a good personal trainer will also help make it fun! You’ll discover which exercises work which muscles, how to do to it safely, how to challenge your muscles, and get advice on nutrition. But if you cannot afford personal training, get a friend as a gym buddy to help you with your routine.” Participating in group activities at your gym, such as spinning or abs classes, will also make it more sociable and enjoyable. Variety is the spice of life, and this is also true when it comes to exercise. “There are so many ways to keep fit and remember it’s all a choice,” says Mario. “Go for a swim, Pilates, running, dancing, love-making, or try Bikram yoga – you will sweat your ass off!” By keeping it interesting, you’ll keep yourself interested – simple as that!

“Cutting back on junk food, drugs and booze will not only have a positive impact on your health – your wallet will also benefit!

#3 Quit smoking

We’re well aware of the dangers of smoking, so it’s no surprise to read that the biggest cancer killer in the UK is lung cancer, and nearly one in four smokers who die prematurely die of lung cancer. Smokers are also two to three times more prone to heart attacks than non-smokers, and much more likely to suffer from strokes, blood clots and angina, and to die from heart disease. But did you know that gay men on average smoke considerably more than the general population of men, and are therefore even more at risk? “Around 40 percent of gay men smoke tobacco in some form or another compared to 23 percent in the general population of men,” says GMFA’s Matthew Hodson. “We tend to start smoking at an earlier age and we continue to smoke for longer.” The proportion of HIV-positive gay men who smoke is even higher, at 48

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#4 Pocket the difference Quitting smoking and cutting back on junk food, drugs and booze will not only have a positive impact on your health – your wallet will also benefit! There are plenty of other savings you can make in 2011. Get cash savvy by using price comparison websites to find the best deals on everything, including gas, electricity and mobile phone bills, internet service providers, car and household insurance, bank accounts, and credit card interest rates. Once upon a time, loyalty was rewarded, but nowadays the priority is to attract new customers with special introductory deals, so never automatically renew any contract or commitment without first shopping around in case you can get the same thing cheaper elsewhere.

#6 Have the sex you want “Most of us don’t get any gay sex education at school,” says GMFA’s Matthew Hodson. “So many gay men learn about sex from watching porn, which can only provide a fantasy of what sex is really like.” Although it can be


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LifestyLe fun to dress up in sports kit or army gear or to use restraints and toys, it’s unrealistic to expect to always have sex that’s as good as it is in your favourite porn film. Such high expectations can force us to try things we don’t really enjoy, or encourage us to have unprotected sex – making us feel inadequate and putting our health and well-being at risk. “It’s important that whatever age you are, or however sexually experienced you are, you don’t feel pressured into having any sex that doesn’t feel right for you,” adds Matthew. “Being confident about sex will improve your sex life. If you’re confident you’re likely to have more sex, better sex and sex with the men you want – and you’ll be better able to stay in control of the sex you have.” So no matter if you’re top or bottom or like a bit of both, have the confidence to know your limits, and to be vocal about your desires – and don’t be afraid to have fun with it! There is often counselling, coaching, or support groups available if you would like to talk to someone about your sex life. Check out the listings at the back of the mag for more information.

“Being confident about sex will improve your sex life.”

#7 Make new friends and improve your social life

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If the only new people you meet are in gay bars or via Gaydar and Grindr, perhaps you should aim to make some new friends the old-fashioned way. There are plenty of ways to make new friends; for example, volunteer for a charity or other organisation, and as well as doing something worthwhile you’ll meet new people and learn new skills. Or join a social group and meet others who share similar interests to you. Whether you’re an avid runner, a keen birdwatcher, a Doctor Who www.gmfa.org.uk

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LifestyLe fan, or a champion of Human Rights, you’ll find all sorts of gay and gay-friendly clubs and groups around the country listed at www.gmfa.org.uk/theguide. .

#8 Learn something new

A great way to improve your future career prospects is to learn new skills. Or you could simply aim to improve your chances of snagging a hot foreign boyfriend by learning a new language! There are colleges all around the country that offer evening and weekend courses to choose from – covering subjects as diverse as jazz drumming, experimental knitting, and Bollywood dancing – there’s bound to be one that’s perfect for you! Many courses lead to a recognised qualification, which is ideal if you’re wanting to show an employer that you’ve learned some new skills. To peruse all the options visit www.direct.gov.uk. If you’ve previously opted out of university, but still wonder if it might be for you, now is the time to make that decision! The maximum tuition fee you’ll be charged per academic year is currently £3,290, but from 2012 the government is intent on tripling that figure. If you act now it’s not too late to get a place at university starting from September 2011, saving you up to £17,000 over a three-year course. Even if you’ve missed the 15 January application deadline, you can still apply now to get a university place through Clearing. For more information go to www.ucas.ac.uk.

recession – but it’s easy to make small changes to your own bit of the world. Something as simple as spring cleaning your kitchen or de-cluttering your wardrobe will make a surprisingly big and positive impact on your immediate environment, making you feel happy to be at home.

#10 Get up to date Is your home computer running the latest operating system? Is all the software upgraded to the latest versions? Is your MP3 player loaded with your current favourite tracks? Have you updated your online profile with photos taken in the last six months? If not, it might be time to get on top of the tech – before it gets on top of you!

#11Boost your confidence “The key to boosting your self-esteem is giving yourself positive messages about who you are," explains Adam Clark of Gay Life Coach. “I meet so many gay men who feel bad about themselves and apologise for who they are. The good news is that you can change the script that controls how you feel about yourself. “Start by making a list of your positive qualities. To help you to make that list, think about completing the statement ‘I like myself because I am...’ Write down all the good qualities that make you who you are. It may be that you're kind, considerate or sensitive; you may have overcome obstacles in your life, or be successful at work.” Adam suggests you make this list as long and comprehensive as possible, and aim for it to encompass various areas, such as your personality, your physical attributes, and all the good things that you do. “Over the days to come, read out this list to yourself,” Adam continues. “You'll be amazed to see how much this simple exercise will begin to change the way you feel about who you are.”

“It’s also important to value your own health and take personal responsibility for using condoms.”

#9 Look after the space around you You might not be able to put the planet in order by brokering world peace or by ending the global

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#12Be counted “Despite the all of gay men affected by HIV in the UK, I refuse to believe that HIV infection is inevitable,” says GMFA’s Matthew Hodson. “As gay men, we need to keep ourselves informed so that we know how to prevent the spread of HIV. And as individuals we need to take responsibility for the sex that we have, to protect our health or the health of our partners.” That’s why GMFA’s current HIV prevention campaign Count Me In is asking everyone to sign up to five pledges: 1) I will know my HIV status. 2) I will not assume I know someone else’s HIV status. 3) I will take personal responsibility for using condoms. 4) I will value myself and my health. 5) I will stay informed about HIV and how it’s spread. The only way to know your HIV status is to test regularly. When you know for certain that you don’t have HIV, you’ll be more motivated not to catch it. If you wait until you become ill before finding out you have HIV, it may already have caused unnecessary damage to your health, and you may have been spreading HIV to others without knowing. You should never guess what someone’s HIV status is based on stereotypes, like how old they are, where you met, or if they look ‘healthy’ or ‘sick’. It’s also important to value your own health and to take personal responsibility for using condoms – don’t leave that decision to the other guy. And it’s up to you to keep up to date with news on HIV and how it’s spread to ensure you don’t take unnecessary risks. So one thing you should definitely do in 2011 is to take the ‘Count Me In’ pledge yourself!

l You can do this online now at www.gmfa.org.uk/countmein.


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cover story

Why should I go to a sexual health clInIc? Lots of us can hardly be bothered to brush our teeth in the morning, much less go for a sexual health check-up. So why should you bother? Frankie McPolin finds out...

I

f you’ve ever had sex, you could have picked up a sexually transmitted infection, or STI, including HIV – which can affect not just your health, but the health of anyone you sleep with too. Even if you’re having safer sex, you run the risk of coming into contact with STIs. “Some of them are far more infectious than HIV, so they can be passed on easily by oral sex, or even from skin to skin contact.” says Chris Patmore of GMFA, the gay men’s health charity. The worrying thing is, STIs are massively on the increase. “Gonorrhoea cases have gone up 83 percent in the last ten years, chlamydia is up 250 percent in the same time period and syphilis 800 percent,” explains Dr Nneka

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Nwokolo, a consultant in genito-urinary medicine at Dean Street clinic in London’s Soho. “There is a lot of infection out there nowadays and having an STI increases the risk of passing on and catching HIV.” With all this in mind, we look at some of the best reasons for you to visit a clinic...

Everybody needs a sexual health MOT (and it’s free!) “If you’re sexually active, even if you think you’ve been safe and you’re not aware of any symptoms, it’s still worth getting regular check-ups,” says GMFA’s Chris Patmore.

A general check-up will quickly reveal whether you have any infections that need to be treated. “Different clinics offer different services, so it’s a good idea to check out what your local one offers before you visit it,” says Chris. Some offer walk-in services and others may require you to make an appointment. Most will test you for syphilis, gonorrhoea, chlamydia and HIV.

You may have an STI and not know it Not all STIs display noticeable symptoms. Chlamydia is one example, so the only way you’ll know if you have it is to get checked out. You can also get tested for hepatitis A, B and C as well as get


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“Gonorrhoea cases have gone up 83% in the last ten years, chlamydia is up 250% in the same time period and syphilis 800%.” vaccinations for hepatitis A and B. Less than half of gay men are vaccinated against hep B, and hundreds of guys catch it every year because they haven’t had the jabs. “If you get hepatitis B it can cause long-term liver disease and liver cancer,” says Dr Nwokolo, “so it’s good to know you can walk into a clinic and get a vaccination against it.”

It’s convenient and easy

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A visit to a clinic should only take about an hour or so and it’s very straightforward. Some clinics take appointments, but others offer a walk-in service. Either way, when you arrive at the clinic, you simply go to reception and check in. You’ll be asked to fill in a simple form while you sit in the waiting room. “Depending on whether or not you have symptoms, you’ll be seen by a doctor or nurse,” www.gmfa.org.uk

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Many clinics have extended opening times, making it easier for you to find a time to take an HIV test.

Share your HIV testing stories today at

Copyright 2010 Š Terrence Higgins Trust is a registered charity in England and Wales (reg. no. 288527) Company reg. no. 1778149 and a registered charity in Scotland (reg. no. SC039986)

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It’s best to know your HIV status The Health Protection Agency believes that one in four people who have HIV in the UK don’t know they have it. This means they’re potentially transmitting infection without being aware of it. So if you’re diagnosed as HIV-positive, this is likely to stop you spreading the virus. It’s wise to know your status for another reason too. “The way HIV works is that it slowly chips away at your immune system until you can’t fight off infections, such as simple colds and flus,” says Andrew Evans, Director of Health and Medical Services at the Metro Centre in Greenwich. “Therefore it is always better to know your status because the medications these days are very good at boosting your immune system and repressing the virus so that it can’t take hold.” The sooner you know you’ve got HIV, the better it will be for your health, because you can get HIV medication. If you choose not to find out, yet you are HIV-positive, your immune system is being damaged.

It won’t hurt Advances in testing means there is less emphasis on swabs – which go up your arse or into

your cock – and needles. “We are aware that some guys avoid clinics because they don’t like swabs being taken so we are trying to move away from these kinds of tests,” advises Dr Nwokolo. “We can do a lot of urine-based tests rather than swabs. We would never force anyone to have a particular test and we always advise people on the best tests and explain everything we’re going to do.” There’s good news for anyone who’s nervous of a scary needle, too. “Our rapid HIV test is taken from a spot of blood we get from a small finger prick, says Andrew Evans. “We put this on a testing strip and leave the sample to give us a result in 15 minutes.”

“There are more and more places outside hospitals where you can test for HIV and other STIs.”

You won’t be judged Nobody who works in a clinic will judge you on your sexual history or behaviour, so you shouldn’t be nervous about going to one. “The staff at clinics are usually really helpful, and pretty much unshockable, so people shouldn’t feel embarrassed,” says GMFA’s Matthew Hodson. Most clinics understand that some guys might still be nervous and they will go out of their way to be welcoming. “The nursing staff and volunteers are fantastic at working with all the guys who come to the clinic to reduce their fear and make them comfortable,” explains Andrew Evans.

You will feel better about yourself “I’m not suggesting that a check-up at a sexual health clinic is going to be a fun outing,” says Matthew Hodson, “but the best case scenario is that you’re given the all clear and you don’t have to worry.”

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explains Dr Nwokolo. “You’ll then be asked some questions about your sexual history, have an examination and then have the tests. If you don’t have any symptoms, you can leave after your tests and get your results by text or phone a few days later. If you have symptoms, your tests will be looked at under the microscope in the clinic, and if required you’ll get some treatment on the day.” There are also more a nd more places outside hospitals where you can test for HIV and other STIs. They can be in bars or gay community centres. Check the listings at the back of the magazine for more details.

www.gmfa.org.uk

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FS122_P16-21_GUM feature_FS 04/02/2011 00:04 Page 20

cover story we’ve found that 40 percent of people who have a positive HIV test, have had a negative result in the previous year. People who test negative might think, ‘I’m negative and I’ve taken risks,’ so they continue to take risks, but this is the wrong way to think”. Guys need to take all the necessary precautions to remain negative after each test.

There’s free condoms on offer Most clinics have plenty of condoms on hand to give out – so make sure you stock up when having a check-up. “At the Metro Centre there are plenty of condoms on offer and staff can make you up a bag with your particular preferences for size, flavour or non-latex,” says Andrew Evans.

If you’ve put yourself at risk, you might be able to get PEP Post-exposure prophylaxis, known as PEP, is a month-long course of HIV medication which, if accessed in time, can prevent someone from becoming HIV-positive if they have been exposed to the virus. “It’s more likely to be effective the sooner you start taking it, so if you think you may have been exposed to HIV, it’s important to get yourself to an A&E or a GUM clinic as soon as possible,” says Matthew Hodson. It’s important to remember that it won’t be prescribed if the exposure was more than 72 hours ago and that PEP isn’t an easy option. Lots of guys have difficulty taking the drugs due to their side effects, so safer sex should always come first. But it’s better to take PEP than to live with HIV for the rest of your life.

And what’s the worst case scenario? “Simply that they’ll find something and be able to treat it,” he explains. Most STIs are very simple to treat and cure. So if you get regular check-ups, you’re going to be a winner either way – result! It’s a responsible thing to know your sexual health status before you have sex with anyone. And when you’ve been to a clinic you can rest assured and feel confident that you’re up to date with that side of your health, and can make appropriate decisions based on that.

You’ll get advice Want to know what that funnysmelling stuff is coming out of your

20 |

“It’s a responsible thing to know your sexual health status before you have sex with Everything is confidential Special laws exist to protect anyone.” personal information at clinics, so cock? Or simply how to stay HIV-negative? You’ll find all the answers at a clinic. “When you visit, you’ll have the opportunity to ask questions. You’ll also be given advice about safer sex and advice on the risks of certain types of sex,” says Dr Nwokolo. She adds: “Having a negative test is an opportunity for us to advise on safer sex and how to remain negative. This is important because

nobody will find out you’ve been. “Your GP doesn’t have to know you’ve been to a clinic and nothing will be passed to your doctor or to anyone without your written consent,” adds Dr Nwokolo. You can even use a false name if you want – but there’s really no need to as everything is confidential. Now, there’s a relief.

l To find a clinic near you, check out the listings at the back of the mag, visit www.gmfa.org.uk/clinics or ring THT Direct on 0845 12 21 200.


ADS:FS 24/03/2010 22:04 Page 12


CMI ADS_FS 14/11/2010 14:30 Page 22

No one wants to catch HIV, but every year more and more gay men are infected and will live with the negative effects for the rest of their lives. the campaign is calling on all gay men to help stop the spread of HIV in our community by agreeing to this easy five-point action plan:

I will know my HIV status. I will not assume I know someone else’s HIV status. I will take personal responsibility for using condoms. I will value myself and my health. I will stay informed about HIV and how it is spread. If every gay man in the uK followed this plan, we could stop HIV damaging any more lives.

It’s time for us all to stand up and be counted. Commit today to make a difference. Join us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/gmfa.uk.

Support

the campaign and GMFA by making a donation. Visit www.gmfa.org.uk/donate.

GMFA, Unit 43 The Eurolink Centre, 49 Effra Road, London SW2 1BZ Charity number: 1076854


FS122_P23_Health_FS 04/02/2011 00:07 Page 23

HEALTH

* HEALTH

Party monster

David Stewart from Anitidote LGBT gives his advice on what to do when drink and drugs start getting scary. All my friends drink pretty regularly, and our social lives revolve around the bars and clubs; I find myself drinking myself silly most nights, embarrassing myself, and sometimes I can’t even remember getting home. I’ve missed a few days at work because of this, and I’m starting to worry I have a drink problem. I don’t want to stop seeing my friends, and I don’t want to just sit at home every night either. Can you help? John via email It’s up to you, and not anyone else to decide if you have a drink problem, John; however if it’s impacting your life and you feel you want to make some changes, there are a number of things you can do.

‘round’ buying; opt out and buy your own drinks. That way you can control how many and how fast you are drinking. Finally, decide what time you are going home and stick to it.

Get a mate to back you up

Pace yourself

Sometimes asking your mates for support can make all the difference. You don’t have to dramatically declare you have a ‘drink problem’! Just mention that you have something important to do in the morning, and your friends may encourage you to take it easy. Suggest doing other things that doesn’t involve so much boozing, like going to the movies, dinners, or watching a DVD together. They may want to make changes too, but have been embarrassed to bring it up.

Try pacing yourself: choose the most moderate drinker amongst your friends and pace yourself against him. Make sure you don’t drink any faster than he does and only go to the bar when he does. Don’t get stuck in

l If you need some advice email fsmag@gmfa.org.uk. For more info on drink and drugs and how to get help, visit: www.antidote-lgbt.com

Be choosy You could start by choosing which nights in the week are really worth going out, and which you’re just doing for the sake of it. Choose some nights to stay home; if nothing else, it gives you a sense of control over your drinking.

Below the belt When things get nasty down below... This monTh:

Syphilis How do you get it? Syphilis is a bacterial infection which is most usually transmitted through fucking without a condom or sucking cock, but which can also caught through rimming, fisting and even through skin to skin contact (although this is rare). How do you prevent it? Using condoms will prevent many cases

of syphilis. If you wanted to reduce the risks further, you would have to use condoms for oral sex. Sucking cock carries a risk of syphilis even if he doesn’t cum in your mouth. How do you know you’ve got it? The symptoms develop in stages. The first is a small painless sore or hardened lump which will appear one to ten weeks after infection, near the point where the bacteria entered your body. This could be your arse, cock or mouth. It’s possible for this to go unnoticed, especially if it’s in your arse. Two to six months later, you may experience a rash on the body and a flu-like illness involving fever, headache and a

sore throat. If left untreated, syphilis will stop being contagious to sexual partners but at this stage the infection can cause blindness, deafness, brain damage, heart attacks, paralysis, lung problems and strokes. How do you treat it? Syphilis is detectable by a blood test and, if it is treated early enough, it is completely curable with antibiotics, causing no permanent damage. Because the symptoms are easy to miss, it’s worth having regular sexual health check-ups, including blood tests for syphilis, if you are sexually active.

l For more information on sexual health visit: www.gmfa.org.uk/sex.

www.gmfa.org.uk

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FS122_P24_AskGMFA.qxd_FS 04/02/2011 20:26 Page 24

advIce

I’ve got a problem! Hey gmfa...

The team at GMFA answer questions from their website that you may be too shy to ask in the flesh... I was a little drunk… The other night, I had sex with this guy without a condom. He was shagging me for a while and I know he spunked on my arse, but I am not sure if he came inside me. I was a little drunk and I don’t know if he had HIV or not. Do you think I could have caught HIV? Unprotected fucking is the riskiest sexual activity in terms of HIV risk, even if your partner didn't cum inside you. Your arse acts like a sponge absorbing a lot of the cum and any HIV present in the cum has direct access to your blood. In these situations, you can access PEP, which is a month long treatment that can stop you from getting infected with HIV if you have been put at risk. For more information visit: www.gmfa.org.uk/pep.

Q

Will my gums put me a risk of HIV? A day ago I sucked a guy and he came in my mouth without telling me. When I realised what was happening, I pulled away but still swallowed some cum. I am just a little concerned because I’m experiencing some gum problems at the moment. There was no blood but I don’t know if this makes a difference. It is possible to get HIV from sucking cock but the risk is low. Saliva has properties that can disable some infections, including HIV, so there needs to be quite a lot of HIV present for infection to take place. Even if you swallow cum, any HIV that may be there will usually be killed by the strong acids in your stomach. Saying that, you are more vulnerable to infections if you have bleeding, scratched or damaged

Q

24 |

gums, mouth ulcers or a sore throat. People with gum disease or ulcers are more likely to catch HIV or other infections from oral sex. So to be safer, avoid getting cum in your mouth while your gums are irritated. For more info visit: www.gmfa.org.uk/sex.

Is this spot syphilis? I have a red spot on my penis and I am worried it may be syphilis. It hasn’t turned into a sore, so I don’t know if I should be concerned. I had a blood test just before the spot appeared and worried that it might have been missed in the test. If syphilis had got to the stage where sores were developing, it would also show up in your blood test. But just to be on the safe side, visit your local GU clinic to get it sorted out. To find a clinic in your area, visit www.gmfa.org.uk/clinics.

Q

lFor more info about sex and sexual health or to ask a question visit: www.gmfa.org.uk/sex.

How risky are… sex toys Dildos and butt plugs can be involved in the transmission of sexually transmitted infections including HIV, Hepatitis A, B and C and gut infections. Anal mucus or blood on sex toys could lead to infection if the same toy is then used on someone else. The easiest way to avoid risk is not to share sex toys – but if you do then use a condom to cover the toy, and change it after each person. Washing your sex toys thoroughly after use with warm soapy water should get rid of any infection remaining on the toy. Using toys may cause damage to the lining of the arse. If you fuck without a condom afterwards, this damage means there is a greater chance of catching HIV if the guy doing the fucking has HIV and you don’t. If your sex toy doesn’t have a base, be careful it doesn’t get lost up there.You may have to make an embarrassing visit to the local A&E department if it does.


ADS:FS 24/03/2010 22:39 Page 25

CitiHealth Nottingham

Sexual Health Outreach Team In association with

Healthy Gay Nottingham Introduces a new sexual health screening & advice service for gay and bisexual men in

NOTTINGHAM It’s FREE, CONFIDENTIAL & CONVENIENT testing for Chlamydia, Gonorrhoea, Syphilis, HIV & Hepatitis B Every Monday evening (by appointment) 5pm-7pm Alternate Saturday mornings (drop in) 11am-1pm At 12 Broad Street, Hockley, Nottingham Call 0771 768 0781 for appointments & information Also at ‘REFLECTIONS SAUNA’ www.reflectionshealthclub.co.uk every Tuesday 3pm-6pm


FS122_P26-27_Sortit_FS 04/02/2011 00:11 Page 26

advice

Sort it out!

FS readers and a trained counsellor give their advice on how to tackle one of life’s problems.

This month’s problem…

Q My boyfriend gave me an STI

I have been in a completely monogamous relationship for five years - or so I thought. A few weeks ago I got this sore throat. I went to the GP and he told me I had gonorrhoea in my throat. I told him there must be some mistake as I have only had sex with my boyfriend and he couldn’t have it because... then the penny dropped. My boyfriend was shagging around behind my back. Well, I totally freaked. We haven’t used condoms for years because I didn’t really think we needed to. I haven’t said anything to him yet. I am so angry, hurt and scared of what other STIs he may have brought home – Lord knows what I will say. I don’t want to lose him despite what he has done. David via email

26 |

Dear DaviD A person can be infected with gonorrhoea for a long time with no symptoms, so although it’s unlikely that you or your boyfriend picked up gonorrhoea as long ago as five years, it’s possible. Assuming the STI you picked up is due to your boyfriend playing away, the future of your relationship depends on the answer to these questions: is he truly sorry about lying to you, can you truly forgive him, can you be happy in an open relationship? If he isn’t truly sorry then he doesn’t really care for you. If you can’t forgive him then you’ll torture yourself by trying to hang on to him. If you can’t be happy in an open relationship

A


FS122_P26-27_Sortit_FS 04/02/2011 00:11 Page 27

then you’ll probably be hurt again if you stay because an open relationship may be what your boyfriend needs. John via email

Dear DaviD If I was you I would get a full check-up at the clinic. I am really sorry to hear this. There must be a reason why he cheated on you. I would seriously speak to him, but I think you might have to face up to the fact that he cheated on you and will do it again. How I see it is this, cheat once and you’re out! Yes you love him, but sorry, you deserve better. Alex via Facebook

A

a full screening just to make sure he hasn’t passed anything else on to you. Once you get the all clear get yourself away from him and start again. You deserve something better. Luke via email

A counsellor’s opinion… David Naylor, a counsellor for the GMI Partnership, says: Dear DaviD

It must have been a shock to hear the diagnosis of gonorrhoea from your GP Dear DaviD and I can understand why you are That must be a really tough feeling a mixture of emotions, situation to be in. While I can including anger and hurt. Even sympathise I can tell you don’t though you do not want to lose your want to play the victim card. Best boyfriend it is likely that the trust thing for you to do right now is you had in him, and in your get yourself fit and healthy again. relationship, has been severely I think for the sake of your own damaged and you will have some health and mental health you need work to do before you can build this to talk to him. It’s obvious that he’s back up again. been playing around and to pretend Your first step should be to talk to your boyfriend and tell him that nothing is going on will only that you have been diagnosed lead to more aggravation. Who knows, next time he might infect with an STI. Being practical about you with HIV. Whether you want to things, you will both need to go to a stay with him is up to you but you GUM clinic for a screen for other need to ask yourself why is he sexually transmitted infections as playing behind your back? there are some which do not have Maybe there is something going any symptoms, even if you are on in his head or maybe he is not infected with them. I would also happy in the relationship and is too make sure that you include a test for afraid to end it. It’s really important HIV in the screen. If you live in that you talk to him but your own London you can see a full listing of clinics at www.gmfa.org.uk/clinics. health comes first. Nobody will Tests have become a lot quicker, look after you so it’s essential that less invasive and simpler in the you do. I hope it all works out for you in the end. last few years and some clinics are Pedro via email able to give you the result of your HIV test in a matter of minutes. It is Dear DaviD very important that you make this I think you should get fully first step as soon as you can as tested for everything. Dump untreated STIs can have long-term him, once a cheat always a health implications. If your cheat and what you’ve got to think is boyfriend could have put himself at how many years could he have been risk of HIV exposure then it is important that you start to use cheating on you? Yes you love him condoms for anal sex right away but you can do better. Sounds like and until the window period for HIV he is a player and a cheat can’t be transmission, which can be up to really in love with you. three months, is past. Rob via Facebook The next step is likely to be Dear DaviD harder speaking to your boyfriend Dude that MoFo needs a good about your relationship. Did you kicking. How can anyone on both agree to your relationship this planet do something like being a closed one or did you just that to someone that they claim to assume that this was going to be love? How can he continue to the case? We all make assumptions pretend to be in a loving about things, not least the boundaries of relationships, and relationship when it’s clear that he only loves himself? I think you need without clear communication things

A

A

A

A

can be misunderstood or misinterpreted. If you had both agreed to the relationship being closed then you will need to have a talk about the new reality of your relationship and how his actions could have endangered your health. If you want to stay together then you will need to agree what sex, if any, you will have with other people and whether or not you can still have sex without condoms in your relationship. Perhaps most importantly you need to agree that, should either of you break the rules of the relationship, you can be honest enough to tell each other what has happened, so you can make informed choices about your health.

lIf you think that you may want to see a counsellor, visit www.gmfa.org.uk/counselling or go to back of the magazine for information on where you can get free counselling.

Next month’s problem... My best mate was diagnosed as HIVpositive about a year ago. It was hard, but we got through it together. We mess around sexually now and again, just for laughs, either alone or with other guys we meet. That’s just the kind of friendship we have. Mates with benefits, I guess. Recently we were out drinking and went back with a couple of lads. I ended copping off with one lad and my mate with the other. We all ended up on the same bed and I noticed that my mate wasn’t wearing a condom while fucking. The next morning I asked him if the other lad was HIV-positive too and he said he never asked, but was “pretty sure he was.” Now I don’t know what I should do. Should I say something to the lad I was with so his mate knows or should I just forget about it all? Mr G – Newcastle

Q

l If you have some advice to give, or you have a problem that needs sorting, go to www.facebook.com/fsmag and post on the discussion tab or email: fsmag@gmfa.org.uk. www.gmfa.org.uk

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FS122_P28-29_listings MEA_FS 04/02/2011 00:12 Page 28

i

Listings

Groups and services in the Midlands and East Anglia… Clinics

visit www.hgl.nhs.uk. lTHT Midlands: phone: (0121) 694 6440.

Condoms by post

Birmingham

Birmingham

LeiCester

lABPlus: walk-in one-hour HIVtesting and STI screening. Wednesdays 2.30-6pm at 29/30 Lower Essex Street, B5 6SN. Phone: 0121 622 6471. lFastest: walk-in one-hour HIVtesting. Mondays 4-7pm at Terrence Higgins Trust, 29-30 Lower Essex Street, B5 6SN. Phone: 0121 694 6440. lHGL Clinic: Sexual health check up for gay and bisexual men, also pre-op M>F transsexuals. Mons 4.00 - 6.30 Thurs 09.45 12.15 and 1.00 - 6. Last new patient appointment 5.50 both days. Walk-in and appointment at 146 Bromsgrove Street Phone: 0121 440 6161.

lHGL can send you condoms and lube in the post provided that you live in the following Birmingham postcode areas: B1-B38,B40, B42-B48, B70-B76 or inTipton, West Bromwich, Smethwick, Oldbury, Rowley Regis, Wednesbury or Blackheath. You can order them online from www.hgl.nhs.uk or ring 0121 440 6161.

lTrade: offers counselling and one-to-one support. Appointments can be made outside office hours in some circumstances. For more info phone: 0116 2541747 or email: info@tradesexualhealth.com

Coventry lGay men’s clinic: drop-in only. Thursdays 10am-4pm at 10 Manor Road, Coventry, CV1 2LH. Phone: 024 7622 9292.

LeiCester lTrade at Celts Sauna: sexual health screening, advice and support. Tuesdays 3-7pm at 38 Narborough Road, LE3 0BQ. Phone: 0116 254 1747.

nottingham lHealthy Gay Nottingham: Sexual health clinic for gay men at The Health Shop with STI screening, plus free condoms and lube. Monday-Friday 10am4.30pm except Wednesday when open 2-4pm. Closed daily 1-2pm. 12 Broad Street, Hockley, Nottingham NG5 2DU. Phone: 0115 947 6868. lFastest: walk-in HIV testing and STI screening. Thursdays 407pm at 5 Barker Gate, NG1 1JU. Phone: 0115 882 0121.

Coventry/ WarWiCkshire lTHT Coventry: condoms by post service. Phone: 024 7622 9292 or email: info@tht.org.uk.

nottingham lHealthy Gay Nottingham: phone: 0115 947 6868 or email: healthygaynottingham @nottinghamcity-pct.nhs.uk. lTHT Nottingham: Phone: 0115 882 0121 or email: info.nottingham@tht.org.uk.

derByshire

teLford and Wrekin

lDerbyshire Friend: free Condoms and Lube. Phone: (01332) 207704, e-mail: info@gayderbyshire.co.uk or www.gayderbyshire.co.uk

lTHT: phone: 01952 221410, or email: info.shropshire@tht.org.uk.

LeiCester

lGMFA, along with TEN, THT, TRADE, and the HGN run courses in the Midlands and East Anglia. For more information visit: www.gmfa.org.uk/national or ring 020 7738 3712.

lTrade can deliver condoms to anyone living in Leicester and Rutland. Phone: 0116 254 1747 or place an order online: www.tradesexualhealth.com.

south staffordshire lMesmen Project: offers condoms and lube by post to men who live in South Staffordshire. Phone: 01543 411 413 or place an order online: www.mesmen.co.uk.

Courses and workshops

Birmingham lHGL run regular assertiveness, relationships, and confidencebuilding courses. For more info phone: 0121 440 6161 or visit: www.hgl.nhs.uk.

LeiCester

lTHT: write to: 4 Park Street, Wellington, Telford TF1 3AE, phone: 01952 221410, or email: info.shropshire@tht.org.uk.

lTrade runs various safer sex workshops throughout the year. Topics include: understanding HIV, negotiating safer sex, and self-esteem. For more details ring: 0116 2541747 or visit www.tradesexualhealth.com.

Counselling

Drop-in centres

teLford and Wrekin

teLford and Wrekin

Birmingham

Birmingham

lTHT: sexual health clinic by appointment. Tues 1.30.-3pm at 4 Park Street, Wellington, Telford TF1 3AE. Phone: 01952 221410.

lHealthy Gay Life Counselling Service: sexual and mental health counselling service. Phone: 0121 446 1085 or 07976 919 481 or

lABPlus: drop-n for people with HIV providing therapies, advice, refreshments and more. Mondays and Fridays

Published by GMFA Unit 43 Eurolink Centre, 49 Effra Road, London, SW2 1BZ Tel: 020 7738 6872 Email: gmfa@gmfa.org.uk Website: www.gmfa.org.uk Charity number 1076854 ISSN 1750-7162

28 |

10.30-3.30pm at 29/30 Lower Essex Street, B5 6SN. Phone: 0121 622 6471. lHGL: open to all gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men men. Tuesday 4.30 - 7.30 and Friday 2.30 - 6.30 at 146 Bromsgrove Street, Birmingham. Phone: 0121 4406 161

derBy lHealthy Gay Derbyshire: Social support, groups, advice, information and training. Mon-Fri 9.30am-2pm at LGB&T Pavillion Centre, 2-3 Friary St. Phone: (01332) 207704, e-mail: info@gayderbyshire.co.uk or www.gayderbyshire.co.uk.

LeiCester lTrade: Mon-Thurs 9.30am-5pm and Friday 9.30am-4pm at 15 Wellington Street, Leicester.

nottingham lTHT Nottingham: for more information phone: 0115 882 0121 or email: nottingham@tht.org.uk.

teLford and Wrekin lTHT:Tuesdays 2-5pm and Fridays 10am-1pm at 4 Park Street, Wellington, Telford TF1 3AE. Phone: 01952 221410.

WoLverhampton lLADS Café: weekly social group for gay and bisexual men over 18. Mondays 6-9pm, except Bank Holidays. For more information call or text Martin Hogg on 07870 565884 or email: mthogg@mac.com. lOlder LADS Café: group for mature gay and bisexual men. The second Monday of the month, 2-5pm, except Bank Holidays. For more information call or text Martin Hogg on 07870 565884 or email: mthogg@mac.com.

Helplines lTHT Direct: 0845 12 21 200

derByshire lDerbyshire LGB&T help, info

The FS team for issue 122 was Cary James (Editor), Ian Howley (Associate Editor), John Adams, Barrie Dwyer, Matthew Hodson, Frankie McPolin, Drew Payne, Shemmy, Gavin Smith, and James Stafford. Design and layout by www.christiantate.co.uk FS is part of the Pan London HIV Prevention Programme. Appearance in FS is not an indication of an individual’s sexual orientation or HIV status. The views of our writers are not necessarily the views of FS, of the organisations mentioned, GMFA, or of the editor. You can subscribe to FS for just £7 per year. Contact us on 020 7738 6872 or email fsadmin@gmfa.org.uk. You can view the current issue and past issues of FS online at: www.gmfa.org.uk/fs. Volunteers contribute to the planning, writing, editing and production of FS. To volunteer or donate, contact GMFA using the details to the right. To express your views on HIV services in London, go to www.ergoclear.com/express.


FS122_P28-29_listings MEA_FS 04/02/2011 00:12 Page 29

and advice line: 01332 349 333. Tuesday to Thursday 10am-1pm and 7.30-9.30pm.

LeiCester

norfoLk lBLAH Youth Helpline: 01603 624924. Wednesdays 6-8pm. lTime to call: 01603 219299. Tuesdays 6-8pm.

Birmingham lMarried Men's Group (MMG) at HGL: a support group for men who are married or in relationships with women. 1st and 3rd monday of the month 6.30 - 8.30. For more info phone: 0121 440 6161. lMayisha at HGL: a group to help support the social needs of Black African and African Caribbean men and women. For more information visit www.mayisha.org.uk or www.mayishabham@yahoo.co.uk lLGBT Alcohol Support Group at Centre 146: provides support to individuals, partners, friends and families who are affected by problem-atic alcohol use. Meets on the first and third Tuesday of the month 7.30-9pm. For more info phone Tony on 07941 238170 or email: glbtas@yahoo.co.uk.

Coventry lLADS Group: group for gay, bisexual and men who have sex with men in Coventry/ Warwickshire. Every second and fourth Wednesday 6.308.30pm at THT: 10 Manor Road, CV1 2LH. For more info phone: 024 7622 9292.

derByshire lReachOut: men’s social group Thursdays 7-9.30pm at 2-3 Friary Street, Derby. Phone: 01332 207 704 or email: info@gayderbyshire.co.uk or visit: www.gayderbyshire.co.uk.

norfoLk lTime Out: a confidential social and peer support group for men who are gay, bisexual or exploring their sexuality. Meets every Tuesday evening in a safe, discreet venue in Norwich. Phone: 01603 219299 or email: taketimeout@hotmail.com.

nottingham

staffordshire

nottinghamshire

Support groups

derBy lLondon Road Community Hospital London Road, Dudley DE1 2QY. Phone: 01322 254681

lOutburst: under 25s group on. Monday evenings. For more info phone: 07940 761 160, visit: www.cityyouth.co.uk, or email: outburst@nottinghamcity.gov.uk. Nuneaton lGYGL (Godiva Gay and Lesbian Group): a group for under 25s. Phone THT Coventry on: 024 7622 9292.

lTrade: 0116 2541747. Monday to Thursday 9.30am-5.30pm and Friday 9.30am-4pm. lLGBT Helpline: 0116 255 0667. 7.30-10pm on alternate Tuesdays and every Thursday.

lNottingham and Nottinghamshire Lesbian and Gay Switchboard: 0115 934 8485 or 01623 621 515 Monday to Friday 7-9.30pm, or visit www.nottslgs.org.uk, or email: notts@lgswitchboard. fsnet.co.uk.

phone: 01603 624924 or email: blahyouth@hotmail.co.uk.

nottingham lBreakout: Social group for gay and bisexual men of all ages with fun outings, events and speakers. Phone: 0115 947 6868, visit: www. breakoutnottm.org.uk or email: info@breakoutnottm. org.uk.

south staffordshire lMarried Men’s Group (MMG): a support group for men who are married or in a relationship with a woman.Meets alternate Wednesdays. Phone Mike: 07814 027 479.

teLford and Wrekin lTHT: monthly group for people with HIV. For more info phone: 07952 221410, or email: info.shropshire@tht.org.uk.

Youth groups Birmingham lOutCentral Youth Group at HGL: For more information phone: 0121 440 6161.

Coventry lGYGL (Godiva Gay and Lesbian Group): under 25s group meets Friday evenings. Phone THT Coventry on: 024 7622 9292.

derByshire lIlkeston Youth: 25s and unders group meets 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month. Phone: (01332) 207704, e-mail: info@gayderbyshire.co.uk or www.gayderbyshire.co.uk. lLGB&T Youth Forum: under 25s group meets Saturdays 1.30-5pm at 2-3 Friary Street, Derby DE1 1JF. Phone 01332 207 704, email: loveknowsnogender@ hotmail.co.uk. lSwadlincote (Global Youth): 25 and unders group meets 2nd and 4th Monday of the month. Phone: (01332) 207704, e-mail: info@gayderbyshire.co.uk or www.gayderbyshire.co.uk.

norfoLk BLAH: 25 and unders group meets in safe venues in Norwich, Great Yarmouth and Kings Lynn. For more info

lLGBT Youth Forum: meets monthly at various youth centres in Staffordshire. Phone: 01543 419 002, email: youth@mesmen.co.uk. lSPACE LGBT: a group for up to 21s on Wednesdays. Phone: 01543 419 002, email: youth@mesmen.co.uk or visit: www.space-youth.co.uk.

teLford and Wrekin lI-Mix: weekly. For info phone: 01952 221410, or email: info.shropshire@tht.org.uk.

GUM clinics Birmingham lBordesley Green Hawthorn House, Dept of Sexual Medicine, Heartlands Hospital, Bordesley Green, Birmingham B9 5SS. Phone: 0121 424 3300 lGreat Charles Street Birmingham Chest Clinic, Great Charles St, Birmingham B3 3HX Phone: 0121 424 3300 or 0121 424 2456

If your area is not listed, ring THT Direct on 0845 12 21 200 to find a GUM clinic in your area. If you would like your group or organsation to be listed here, send your info to fsmag@gmfa.org.uk.

dudLey lGuest Hospital Tipton Road, Dudley DY1 4SE Phone: 01384 244820

hereford lGaol St Sexual Health Centre Gaol Street Health Centre, Hereford HR1 2HU Phone: 01432 378934

LeiCester lLeicester GUM Phone: 0116 258 5208

LoughBorough lLoughborough GUM Phone: 01509 568 888

nuneaton lShepperton House George Eliot Hospital, College St, Nuneaton CV10 7DJ Phone: 0247 686 5162

redditCh lArrowside Unit Alexandra Hospital Site, Woodrow, Redditch B98 7UB Phone: 01527 516 398

rugBy lHospital of St Cross Barby Road, Rugby, Warwickshire CV22 5PX Telephone: 01788 663 218

shreWsBury lRoyal Shrewsbury Hospital Mytton Oak Road, Shrewsbury SY3 8XQ. Phone: 01743 261 059

staffordshire lStaffordshire General Hospital Weston Road, Staffordshire ST16 2LR. Phone: 01785 257 731 ext 4260

stoke-on-trent lNorth Staffordshire Royal Infirmary, Princes Road, Hartshill, Staffordshire ST4 7PS Phone: 01782 554205

teLford lWhittall Street Whittall Street Clinic, Whittall Street, Birmingham B4 6DH Phone: 0121 237 5700

CannoCk lCannock Chase Hospital Brunswick Road, Cannock WS11 5XY. Phone: 01543 572 757

Coventry lStoney Stanton Road Coventry and Warwickshire Hospital, Stoney Stanton Road, Coventry CV1 4FH Phone: 0247 684 4164 lManor Road Terrence Higgins Trust, Coventry, 10 Manor Road, Coventry CV1 2LH. Phone: 02476 229 292

lPrincess Royal Hospital Apley Castle, Telford, Shropshire TF1 6TF. Phone: 01952 222 536

WaLsaLL lManor Hospital Moat Road, Walsall WS2 9PS Phone: 01922 633 341

West BromWiCh lSandwell General Hospital Dartmouth Clinic, Hallam Street, West Bromwich B71 4HJ Phone: 0121 580 0929

WoLverhampton lNew Cross Hospital Wednesfield Road, Wolverhampton WV10 0QP Phone: 01902 695 000

www.gmfa.org.uk

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FS122_P30_Last Chance_FS 03/02/2011 23:19 Page 30

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72


HEPATITIS C INFECTIONS AMONGST HIV-POSITIVE GAY MEN ARE RISING

Hep C can be sexually transmitted by fisting, group fucking, sharing sex toys, sharing pots of lube or fucking without condoms. It can also be transmitted by sharing drug injecting needles or snorting straws. Hep C can cause serious liver disease and premature death. Hep C often shows no symptoms. Early diagnosis and treatment are vital.

ASK AT YOUR CLINIC ABOUT HEP C TESTING For more information visit www.gmfa.org.uk/hepc GMFA projects are developed by positive and negative volunteers. To volunteer or donate, call 020 7738 6872 or go to www.gmfa.org.uk Charity number 1076854 • Information accurate as of June 2010 • Design by craig.hewitt1@virgin.net Photography by James Stafford • Dakota Strong supplied by www.maleorderagency.com Supported by the Derek Butler Trust


CMI ADS_FS 03/02/2011 22:47 Page 32

Leon

TogeTher we can sTop The spread of hIV It’s time for us all to stand up and be counted. Join us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/gmfa.uk to meet the guys who appear in the campaign and to find out how you can be part of it.

supporT

the campaign and GMFA by making a donation. Visit www.gmfa.org.uk/donate.

GMFA, Unit 43 The Eurolink Centre, 49 Effra Road, London SW2 1BZ Charity number: 1076854


FS122 MEA