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FS123_COVER_FS 07/04/2011 18:20 Page 2

Midlands & East Anglia

THe fiT and sexy gay mag issUe #123 spring 2011

now available on your iphone and ipad. See inside for more details

Love

is in the air

GivE your rElAtionship A sprinG tunE-up

8+

wayS To be safe on THe sTreeTs

What’s your problem with condoms?

fs celebrates the royal wedding “my mate is freaking me out...”


FS APP AD_FS 07/04/2011 19:48 Page 2

Don’t you hate it when you miss an issue of ? We’ll make sure that never happens again… Now you can download the free FS Magazine app from iTunes and get FS magazine sent directly to iPhone and iPad. The app is free and so are all the issues. That includes the latest issue and previous issues including the one featuring Ben Cohen… result! Just go to: www.gmfa.org.uk/fsapp or search iTunes for FS magazine and start downloading. And don’t worry Android users, FS is on its way to your phones soon, so keep and eye out.

To keep up to date with everything that's happening with FS, join our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/fsmag. FS is brought to you by GMFA, Unit 43 The Eurolink Centre, 49 Effra Road, London SW2 1BZ


FS123_P03_Contents_FS 07/04/2011 18:30 Page 3

6

9 14

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Hello

How cool are we?

Hold on to your handsets and get ready for some exciting news... you can now download FS to your iPhone or iPad. Yes that’s right, the FS magazine UK app is now available on iTunes, and with it you can download the current issue, previous issues and other great stuff from FS. And once you have the app on your device, every new issue of FS will be sent directly to you Join us on Facebook at when it comes out. And it’s all free! And don’t be sad, Android www.facebook.com/fsmag Come on... do it now! phone users, a version especially for you is on the way too. To download the free app go to www.bit.ly/fsmagapp or just Brought to you by search iTunes for ‘FS Magazine UK’. # -2, 1).+ *+) & ' 0$-# )( )',

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Cary James, Editor Funded by the Pan London Do you think you could write for FS? If so, email fsmag@gmfa.org.uk HIV Prevention Programme to find out how to apply to be a freelance writer for the mag. www.gmfa.org.uk

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HGL Times Advert 2011 257x182_Layout 1 21/01/2011 14:25 Page 1

Centre 146 Tuesday 10am - 4.30pm Advice and counselling appointments only

Counselling & Psychotherapy Service

4.30pm - 7.30pm Drop-in for information, advice, internet use and condoms/lube

7.30am - 9.30pm Monday to Friday

7.30pm - 9pm LGBT Alcohol Support Group (1st & 3rd Tuesday of the month)

Open to lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgender people

Bisexual Support Group (2nd Tuesday of the month)

Thursday

7 counselling offices around Birmingham A choice of a male or female counsellor

0121 446 1085 07976 919481

9.45am - 12 noon & 1pm - 6.30pm Sexual Health Clinic (Last appointment 6.30pm)

Healthy Gay Life Centre 146

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146 Bromsgrove Street Birmingham B5 6RG

Friday

Main Offices

10am - 2.30pm Advice and counselling appointments only

10am - 5pm Monday to Friday

2.30pm - 6.30pm Drop-in for information, advice, internet use and condoms/lube

Centre for Community Health Frank Street, Highgate Birmingham B12 0YA 0121 440 6161 info@hgl.nhs.uk www.hgl.nhs.uk

Promoting Gay & Bisexual Men’s Sexual, Mental and Social Health


FS123_P05_Upfront_FS 07/04/2011 18:33 Page 5

!

UPFRONT

Lie back and think of… Not long now till William and Kate’s wedding and we all have a day off to celebrate. We can’t think of a better way to celebrate than to lie back and think of England with a pack of ‘Crown Jewel’s condoms’. Leave the commemorative plates and tea towel to your nan, and celebrate Will and Kate’s big day with some once-in-a-lifetime prophylactics. “Like a Royal Wedding, sex with a loved one is an unforgettable occasion,” says Hugh Pomfret of Heritage Condoms. “Crown Jewels Royal Wedding souvenirs are a unique way to remember this great British occasion. All at Crown Jewels have worked tirelessly to craft these quality love sheaths. In years to come, they will be a timeless memento of a magical wedding day.” And that’s a very important point, these are a ‘novelty’ product and not proper condoms, so they are good to put on your shelf for a laugh and that’s about it. They won’t protect you from HIV or other STIs. Always remember, make sure your condoms have a British standard kitemark on them.

Anyway, better than a commemorative mug innit? For more info visit: www.crownjewelscondoms.com.

www.gmfa.org.uk

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FS123_P06-07_PAGE6 b_FS 07/04/2011 18:30 Page 6

6 upfront

1

ways to be a super single

Mates matter

Hands up, how many of us have ‘friends’ on Facebook that we never talk to? Everyone needs friends. Researchers at Harvard University have discovered friendship is as good for your well-being as it is for your spirit. They found having good friends helps lower blood pressure, relieves anxiety and may even help you live longer. It’s best to remember that a friend is more than just someone to hang out with. Friends are the people that add colour and excitement to our lives. Over two thirds of gay men admit to sometimes feeling lonely. If you find it hard to make friends, there are many ways you can get out there and meet people. Volunteering can be a great way to meet like-minded people. Check out www.volunteering.org.uk for more information.

Leave your expectations at the door 2

One of the secrets to happy dating is to try not to have too many expectations. Try not to think of the man you meet as a potential boyfriend, or sex buddy or potential anything. Just think of him as someone who you have never met before, can get to know and have fun with. Once the pressure of expectations is gone, you will be more relaxed and may see the guy for who he really is, instead of who you want him to be.

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FS123_P06-07_PAGE6 b_FS 07/04/2011 18:31 Page 7

3

Work that body

A healthy body is the key to looking and feeling great. Nothing helps you develop a great body more than exercise. Along with toning you physically, exercise has also been proven to tone you mentally. Research has shown that a 30-minute quick walk increases creativity levels and feelings of well-being. So whether you prefer low-impact aerobics or a 12-mile run, don't just sit, get that body moving. 4

Facebook!

Know your status

One in four gay men who have HIV don’t know they have it. If you have HIV and find out late, you are much more likely to get ill or even die. You can avoid all the stress and worry by taking personal responsibility for using condoms and knowing your HIV status by having regular sexual health check-ups. GMFA’s Count Me In campaign has a five-point action plan to stop the spread of HIV in our community. Check it out at www.gmfa.org.uk/countmein. 5

Join us on

Get back in the real world

Lots of us use dating websites or apps, and it can be fun but remember to log off and get back to reality. There are many groups set up that will allow you to meet other men who have the same interests as you. Whether it’s sports, games, socialising or just watching films you are into, you can be sure that there are plenty of people out there that are just like you. Check out a host of groups and activities you can get involved with on www.gmfa.org.uk/theguide.

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Stay connected with FS everyday and enjoy more great stories, more hot guys and more chances to be part of the action.

Just go to: www.facebook.com/fsmag See you there!

Always take Johnnie with you 6

For some of us, being single means going out there and having sex with different guys. While it is great to get out there and have fun, it’s also important to remain safe. Using condoms is the best way to protect you from STIs such as HIV, so put some condoms in your bag and one in your wallet. If you are planning on a big night out, make sure you go prepared for what might happen later. You never know when you’ll get lucky. For all the latest information on sex and HIV, visit www.gmfa.org.uk/sex. l For more information on sex, HIV and ways to meet people visit www.gmfa.org.uk or follow us on www.facebook.com/fsmag. www.gmfa.org.uk

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FS123_P09-11_Couples feature_FS 07/04/2011 18:35 Page 9

How’s your

lifestyle

relationship?

Spring is in the air and that means relationships are on a lot of guy’s minds. Whether yours is brand new or you’ve been together a while, every relationship needs time and attention to make it work. FS finds out what it takes to make new relationships grow and for established ones to thrive.

Commitment Successful relationships require your attention, so the more committed you are to yours, the better it’ll be.

t

To get a relationship off to a good start, spend quality time together as a couple, go out on dates and do relationship-building activities such as jointly cooking a meal, watching a film, or spending a weekend away – not forgetting mundane chores like supermarket shopping or washing up. These activities allow you to get to know each other better, and also help build a connection that’s strong and enduring. “We live in a culture that promotes the idea of instant pleasure and images of perfection,” says counselling psychologist Sören Stauffer-Kruse. “Yet intimacy is not something that you develop overnight. It is something that you work at. Instant pleasure will not lead to a fulfilling relationship.” As the relationship develops, don’t start to take each other for granted. Instead, keep doing all sorts of things together so your story will continue at a happy pace.”

www.gmfa.org.uk

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FS123_P09-11_Couples feature_FS 07/04/2011 18:35 Page 10

lifestyle

“Don’t expect him to guess what you enjoy about sex just from the noises you make.”

Communication It might seem a cliché but communication is the backbone of any good relationship. We can’t expect to know someone just by having sex with them. We need to spend time with them and talk with them. Whether it is over a formal date or just casually as we watch television together, we do need to talk. It doesn’t have to be over the big subjects every day. It can be about what we did that day or what’s on the television that night. The more we talk the easier it becomes, and the easier it becomes the easier it is for us to talk about those big things as well. Talking and communicating are vital for relationships. We need to share with someone to get close to them. “The key component in any relationship is communication.,” says counsellor Esther Samson. Your boyfriend can’t read your mind, so it’s important to share your feelings and to say precisely what you want and need. Don’t hint, either – because love shouldn’t be a guessing game. It’s vital to communicate clearly with your partner, as misunderstandings can lead to conflicts. “Most arguments start because of differences of opinion,” Esther adds. “But with patience and basic communication skills you should be able to negotiate a compromise.” Instead of arguing, try to step back and view the situation from a different perspective, putting your ego and your pride aside – by doing so, you might see a solution and avoid the argument altogether.

10 |

Sex Good sex can’t make a relationship on its own but bad sex can ruin one. The best thing for good sex, like a good relationship, is communication. Tell your boyfriend what you enjoy about sex and what you don’t. Do not expect him to guess just from the noises you make. “Having a good sex life with your partner is something that you work at throughout a relationship,” says Sören. “So talk about sex and be open about your fantasies.” “Monogamy or the decision to have an open relationship are not in themselves signs of the levels of intimacy,“ Sören continues. “It’s


FS123_P09-11_Couples feature_FS 07/04/2011 18:35 Page 11

possible to be monogamous and not feel close to your partner.” “Being blissfully in love isn’t any protection against HIV,” adds Matthew Hodson from GMFA. “Many gay men find it harder to keep using condoms when they’re in a long-term relationship, or think that it isn’t necessary any more, but the truth is that about a third of gay men infected with HIV believe that it happened whilst having sex with their boyfriend. “Sometimes couples make a conscious decision to stop using condoms with each other. More often it ‘just happens’, and then once their condom use isn’t 100 percent they think it makes no difference and stop even trying to use condoms. If both partners are truly HIV-negative, and are truly monogamous, then there isn’t much risk – but all too often I hear stories from men who trusted their partners and then found that they’d been having sex with other men, or just didn’t feel able to disclose their HIV status.” If either or both of you don’t know your status, this could be the time to have a HIV test together. You can give each other support through it. Talk about how you would handle the results, especially if it turns out that one of you has HIV and the other one doesn’t.

Finances

This can be a hurdle in many relationships, especially if one partner earns more than the other.

Remember “I have HIV, but my boyfriend doesn’t…” James manages a sauna and B&B in Bristol. He was diagnosed HIV-positive in January 2009. He’s been in a relationship with Mark, who is HIV-negative, for six months. “Our relationship started a very short time after we met,” says James. “I am a very open person and having HIV isn’t something that I hide, so there was no issue around HIV. Our sex life is great. We’re careful and cautious, but it doesn’t stop us having a good time.” James and Mark have faced extra challenges, with James admitting that the wait for the results of Mark’s first HIV test since they started dating was a particularly stressful time for both of them. “People in mixed HIV status relationships face a range of challenges,” says GMFA’s Matthew Hodson. “But I know of lots of really successful, loving relationships where one partner is HIV-positive and the other HIV-negative. If you know that you don’t have the same HIV status then you will be aware that there is a risk of HIV transmission whenever you have sex, but this does not mean that you can’t work together to ensure that the negative partner stays that way.” “Commitment to safer sex is important,” agrees Esther Samson. “Drawing up boundaries, trust, and good communication are the order of the day.” There may be extra hurdles to overcome: for instance, the HIV-positive partner may suffer from guilt, there may be issues around sex and intimacy, and there may be fear about what the future holds but, as Esther says, this can all be worked on with couples therapy

“It’s important to share your feelings and to say precisely what you want and need.”

This is where careful discussion is essential. Who pays for what and how much? Do you go 50-50 or do you reflect your different incomes? There are no easy answers but not talking about this can cause resentment on either side. You need to know what you are both going to do about shared costs, but don’t wait until you move in together to talk about this. Moving in can be stressful enough without adding the ‘talk about money’ on top of it.

l Lots of men test positive for HIV in the first year of their relationship. If you are in a one-on-one relationship and you want to stop using condoms, go for an HIV test together. If the tests are both negative, wait about a month and then test again. If both sets of tests are negative, then it could be safe to not use condoms. l If you do decide to not use condoms in your one-on-one relationship, talk about what would happen if one of you slipped up and had risky sex outside the relationship. Would you be able to tell your partner? If not you could be putting him at risk of HIV or other STIs without him knowing it. If you think that you wouldn’t be able to tell your partner you’ve been shagging around, then it may be best to use condoms. l If you are in a mixed status relationship and the condom breaks or you are put at risk of HIV in some other way, PEP is a treatment that could stop you from catching HIV. It must be started within 72 hours of the risk. It is available at GUM clinics and A&E departments.

For more information visit www.gmfa.org.uk/pep or ring one of the helplines listed at the back of this mag. sessions if necessary. “If you’re in a mixed HIV status relationship, and you fuck with each other, it may be worth thinking about what you’d do if a condom failed,” Matthew adds. “Most A&E departments and GUM services offer PEP, a month-long course of HIV drugs that can prevent infection if started within 72 hours of the risk.” “HIV can be a challenge in a relationship,” says Sören Stauffer-Kruse. “But I do not think that it is ever the underlying problem that people face.” So what worries James and Mark the most? “Money,” James replies. “Definitely money at the moment. We’ve a lot of plans and funding them is a much more stressful thing than worrying about HIV.” www.gmfa.org.uk

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FS122_P12-13_SAFE feature_FS 07/04/2011 18:38 Page 12

Beat hate Advice

So you’re just walking down the street minding your own business when suddenly a group of lads come up and start shouting abuse at you for being gay. What do you do? LGB&T hate crime prevention charity GALOP gives their advice on how to be safe on the streets and what to do if things go wrong. Be AwAre Take note of your surroundings, and of the people around you. If there are choices about where to walk, always choose well-lit, populated areas and stay near to main roads. Avoid lonely short-cuts at night. Move away from groups of people behaving in an erratic or provocative manner. Cross the street, change direction or grab a cab if you think there is danger. Try not to draw attention to yourself.

AppeAr confident Walk with your head up and in a determined manner. Look like you know where you are going, even if you don’t. Tell yourself you can cope with any situation, and that you have as much right to be walking the streets as anyone else. Making eye contact with people as you go past them indicates you are not scared.

StAy with otherS When travelling at night, try to be with others for as much of your journey as possible. If you are left alone on top of a bus, or in an empty tube or train carriage, move as soon as you can to where there are other people, or get off if you feel it might be safer to do so. If you can afford it, get cabs for lonely journeys.

Alcohol or drugS mAke you more vulnerABle If you are out of it, you are more vulnerable. If you know you will be drinking or taking drugs, arrange to travel with friends. Avoid difficult or isolated journeys, either by staying

12 |

“I have been attacked for being gay. I can tell you it’s not a nice experience. I was bullied at school and verbally abused by people who I thought were friends. However it has made me a stronger person and I’m happy with who I am now. I suppose I can voice my story more so other people my age won’t be afraid to be who they are.” – Harry, 18 from Middlesbrough with a friend or by booking a cab beforehand.

Avoid conflict If a situation looks like it might turn violent, try not to engage. Try to calm the situation down or look instead for ways of getting out of the situation. There is no shame in refusing to fight or trying to get away, especially if the odds are against you.

if you Are AttAcked Hopefully this will never happen to you, if you are attacked, you may

decide to fight back, but try to get help and attention. Shout to bring others to your assistance. Sometimes shouting ‘Fire!’ will bring people more quickly. If your attacker has a weapon, try to run. Get help as soon as you can.

the police cAn help The police take homophobic crimes very seriously, so if you are a victim do report it as soon as possible. This includes verbal abuse, name calling, harassment, vandalism or actual physical attack. The police can’t do anything to improve the situation unless they know it’s happening.

l For more info or to report a homophobic attack in London, visit www.galop.org.uk, ring 020 7704 2040 or email info@galop.org.uk. l Outside London contact local police, as most constabularies now have dedicated LGBT liaison officers and hate crime units. l International day against homophobia (IDAHO) takes place each year on 17 May. To get involved or to see what events are happening in your area visit: www.dayagainsthomophobia.org.


FS122_P12-13_SAFE feature_FS 07/04/2011 18:38 Page 13

“Many times I have been out and about and heard teens making fun of one of their mates by calling him gay. I want to go up to them and tell them to stop and to explain why they shouldn’t use that word. The next time that happens I think, if I’m brave enough, I will.” – Chris, 23 from London

www.gmfa.org.uk

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FS123_P14-18_Condom feature_FS 07/04/2011 18:44 Page 14

lifestyle HealtH

What’s your problem with condoms? For 25 years safer sex campaigns have been reminding us that condoms prevent the spread of HIV. But although they’re often available for free, some of us don’t always use them, as Frankie McPolin finds out...

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“I don’t find them sexy” Most of us agree using condoms is hardly a turn-on. In a study by the Health Protection Agency (HPA) guys admitted that using them felt like “we’ve got this thing in the way”, “it feels like a process” and “it takes away a lot of the emotion.” Peter Boyle regularly hears similar comments: “Some men don’t like the lack of sensation or intimacy with condoms, so they don’t use them,” he explains. However, condoms don’t have

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Several recent studies have found gay men reporting increasing rates of unprotected anal sex from the mid-1990s onwards. And a less scientific poll on the website of the Terrence Higgins Trust showed the number of people who used a condom when they last had sex “consistently hovered around the 50 percent mark”. “Guys who don’t use condoms are putting themselves at potentially serious health risks,” confirms Peter Boyle, sexual health coordinator at the Lesbian & Gay Foundation, “They are still the best way to ensure we’re protecting ourselves from a range of STIs, including incurable HIV.” FS investigates our problems with condoms and discovers some solutions…


FS123_P14-18_Condom feature_FS 07/04/2011 18:44 Page 15

“Guys who don’t use condoms are putting themselves at potentially serious health risks.”

www.gmfa.org.uk

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FS123_P14-18_Condom feature_FS 07/04/2011 18:44 Page 16

s “Condom ely d i w o s e ar ars b n i e l b a l avai re e h t , s b u l and c o n s i y l l a e r not o t e s u c ex .� have them

16 |


FS123_P14-18_Condom feature_FS 07/04/2011 18:44 Page 17

HealtH

“I want to be loved” Some of us think ditching condoms is a sign of affection for our sex partners, according to Scott Lupasko, director of counselling and peer support services at the Metro Centre. “Some men decide not to use them because they’ve fallen in love in 15 minutes, and they want to make a show of trust and prove to the person they’ve met that they’re into them,” he explains. A study carried out by the HPA also showed that a number of guys who’d contracted HIV had decided to trade safety for the possibility of love, approval and fun by ditching condoms. “If I pull a really gorgeous guy and we get on well, I’m less likely to insist on a condom if he doesn’t,” agrees Alan, 33, from London. “I think it’s a sign he likes me a lot more.” It looks like some guys need to reprogramme their brains when it comes to their attitudes. Daniel Dennehy, a health advisor at Dean Street GUM clinic in Soho agrees, saying: “I’d advise people to consider what wearing a condom indicates. It demonstrates respect and care for your own body and the body of the person you are having sex with. It’s not about assuming someone has an infection, rather that you’re conscientious about your sexual health – which is surely an attractive feature?”

“I’m not confident enough” Are you too nervous to suggest your shag pops on a cock sock in the sack? Then you’re definitely not alone. “Lacking confidence is one of the biggest factors that contributes to unsafe sex,” claims David Stuart from Antidote. “If I’m with a guy and he has condoms, then that’s fine,” says Anwar from Brighton. “But if there’s no mention of them and we get to the point of fucking, I find it hard to bring it up and just kind of ignore the fact. I guess I’m just nervous of mentioning them.” If this sounds like you, a good way to avoid the nerves is by having condoms visible by your bed. “Having them present like this removes the need to add the discussion to the sex,” explains Daniel Dennehy from Dean Street GUM clinic. “Simply make sure you have plenty on view or take them out of your pocket as you take your clothes off.” If you meet someone in a club or bar, you can even tell them you’re off to pick up some free condoms so there are no doubts about your intentions when you get to the bedroom. Result!

“Wearing a condom demonstrates respect and care for your own body and the body of the person you are having sex with.”

“I don’t think I’m at risk” Some guys don’t use condoms where they think they’re in circumstances posing no threat of HIV exposure, according to a study by Sigma Research. A number of respondents relied simply on a strong sense of trust that their regular sexual partners were being honest with them about sexual behaviour outside the relationship. Others thought that if the shags they picked up looked a certain way, then the risk wasn’t there.

“Some guys think if they pick up a young and beautiful guy for sex, it’s not necessary to use protection as there’s no HIV threat,” explains Scott Lupasko from the Metro Centre. Justin from Reading used to think the same way: “I’m pretty good looking and a personal trainer so I’ve never had a problem picking up guys. I used to love being fucked without a condom so I’d take my pick of the young guys I’d see in clubs thinking they were too young or too inexperienced to have HIV.” Justin contracted HIV 18 months ago after following this strategy. “I’m gutted,” he says, “but I guess I was daft to think I’d be fine.”

“I’m not in that head space” If someone’s feeling down or depressed it can negatively affect the sexual choices they make. So if you’re feeling low, this is worth remembering, as you might be more likely to agree to take risks in bed. “If someone has low self esteem, they may be more easily coerced into having unsafe sex,” says Peter Boyle.

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to be a moment-crushing inconvenience. Try to enjoy them being in the sack with you. After all, they let you go at it hammer and tongs without having a load of worry in the back of your mind. You can even sex them up a bit. “Have your partner put a condom on for you. Try to make it a sexy part of the sex you’re having,” says David Stuart from the LGBT drugs and alcohol service, Antidote. “Enjoy some more foreplay so you’re irresistibly aroused before intercourse.” Why not try out some of the many textured and flavoured condoms that exist? Regular thickness condoms have been found to be as effective as extra-thick ones, so they’re easy to buy in pharmacies, or even to get for free from gay health projects and many gay bars.

www.gmfa.org.uk

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FS123_P14-18_Condom feature_FS 07/04/2011 18:44 Page 18

HealtH Michael, 26, from London has been there and bought the t-shirt. “I lost a job I loved last year and it really put me into a spiral of depression,” he reveals. “I couldn’t get another job and I felt so low, I didn’t care about myself. I was going to saunas during the day and having unprotected sex. I was pissed off with life and my situation so as a result I took big risks.”

“I get him to pull out before he cums” One strategy employed by non-users of condoms trying to stay safe is risky to say the least. “I used to ask the guy who was fucking me to pull out before he came,” says Justin from Reading. “After all, lads most at risk of catching HIV are those who let guys cum inside them.” This may be true, but approaches like these aren’t a guarantee against contracting STIs, including HIV. “The risks are reduced, but HIV can be contracted through being the ‘top’ or by being exposed to pre-cum,” explains Peter Boyle, “so although the risk may be reduced it is not eliminated, and the risk of getting other STIs remains.”

Quick fixes

Simple ways to fix your problems with condoms... “they don’t fIt properly” Contrary to popular rumour, one size does not fit all. Fortunately condoms come in a range of shapes and sizes, so find one that suits you best. Condoms for bigger cocks are usually called 'extra large' and condoms for the smaller cock are usually called 'trim' or 'snug'.They come in lots of different sizes so have some fun experimenting so you find the best fit for you.”

”I never seem to have any when I need them” Condoms are so widely available in bars and clubs, there really is no excuse to not have them. Make sure you pick some up when you’re out and keep them in your wallet and beside your bed. “Many sexual health clinics like the Metro Centre in Greenwich do condoms by post for free,” says Scott Lupasko. So even if you never leave the house, you can ensure you have a supply on tap.

“Condoms shouldn’t be thought of as something that gets in the way of sex, but something that makes it better.”

“I was off my face” When guys are out drinking or taking drugs, it’s a simple fact they’re less likely to use condoms during sex. Rob from London is usually drunk whenever he ditches protection. “I liked to drink to lose my inhibitions and to give me the courage to go to sex venues, but sometimes I let myself go and if the other guy isn’t bothered about condoms and I’m quite drunk, then I’m happy to go without,” he reveals. “I’ve caught a couple of STIs, but thankfully nothing too bad so far.” In one American study last year, the likelihood of someone having risky sex was increased by four times if they’d used poppers or methamph -etamines, like speed and crystal meth, and by seven times if they’d taken ketamine, or K. “The non-use of condoms is a growing problem amongst our service users, particularly those using crystal meth and GHB/GBL to facilitate sex,” confirms David Stuart from Antidote.

18 |

“I lose too much sensatIon” A little piece of latex shouldn’t cause too many problems. “Different thicknesses of condoms are available, and the ultra fine

ones are just as safe to use, provided that you always use plenty of lube,” says Peter Boyle from the Lesbian & Gay Foundation. Or why not try some of the many textured condoms out there, for a different sensation?

“I lost my hard-on when I trIed to put one on” Many guys lose an erection through worrying about putting a condom on. “So incorporate condoms into the sex you’re having, and think of them as something to be turned on about,” says Peter Boyle. Condoms shouldn’t be thought of as something that gets in the way of sex, but something that makes it better.

“they spoIl the moment” Keeping condoms next to the bed, or on you if you’re out, means you’ll always be prepared and won’t have to ruin the moment by looking for them. Don't panic about using them. Most guys won’t have a problem if you take your time putting one on.

“I’m too embarrassed” Why are you embarrassed? “Is it because you lack confidence to bring up the subject, or is it because you’re not sure how to use them properly?” asks Peter Boyle. Condoms come with instructions and you can log on to www.gmfa.org.uk/condoms for lots of tips on how to use them, including a video that shows how to put one on.

l For more information on sex and HIV visit www.gmfa.org.uk/sex.

Help & advice Antidote – LGBT Drug and Alcohol Service, 020 7437 4669, www.antidote-lgbt.com The Lesbian & Gay Foundation, 0845 3 30 30 30, www.lgf.org.uk The Metro Centre, 020 8305 5000, www.metrocentreonline.org Dean Street NHS Sexual Heath Clinic, Soho, 020 3315 6699, www.chelwest.nhs.uk/56deanstreet


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)

32058 THT Ph3 257x182 FS.indd 1

12/01/2011 15:59


FS123_P23_Health_FS 07/04/2011 18:56 Page 20

HEALTH

* HEALTH

Do you know your hep A-B-Cs? Hepatitis actually means ‘inflamed liver’. There are at least five viruses that can cause it. Here are the three you really need to know about.

Hep A You can get hepatitis A by drinking water or eating food that has been contaminated by faecal matter (shit) containing the virus. So if a waiter doesn’t wash his hands after having used the toilet, he could pass it on by touching someone’s food, plates, or cutlery. Gay men also get it from rimming. It is also possible to contract hepatitis A by putting your fingers in your mouth after fingering someone who has the virus, or after handling a used condom. If you catch hep A, you may not show any symptoms, but if you do they can include fatigue, nausea, vomiting, pain in the liver area, aches, pains and fever. You might develop jaundice, which turns your skin and the whites of your eyes yellow. You’ll also have dark urine or light coloured stools (shit). Most people recover within six months and the virus completely leaves the body. Afterwards, your body usually develops immunity to hep A, so you should never catch it again. There is a vaccine to protect you from hep A. Ask your GP or at your GUM clinic. It consists of two injections, six months apart.

Hep B The hepatitis B virus is in blood, semen and saliva as well as other body fluids of a infected person. The virus can be spread by sharing needles, sharing snorting straws, unprotected sex (both oral and anal), fisting or using sex toys on multiple partners (without washing in between), or by getting blood or other infected body fluids in the mouth, eyes, arse or on to broken skin. Sharing razorblades and toothbrushes could also spread the virus, as it can live in dried blood. It may be possible to catch it though kissing, but this would be very rare. The symptoms are very similar to

20 |

from hep B. There is an effective three-step vaccine available to protect you from hep B.

Hep C First identified in the 1980s, hepatitis C can cause similar symptoms to the other hep viruses. It’s chiefly transmitted by blood to blood contact and so one of the main groups affected has been injecting drug users. Hepatitis C can also be spread sexually, especially through fisting or using sex toys on multiple partners without cleaning in between. Fucking without condoms may also be a risk, since it can be found in semen. And some doctors believe sharing drug snorting straws is a risk, as well as sharing razors. More and more gay men are finding out they have hep C who hadn’t realised they were infected. About half of those infected never experience symptoms. Others may begin to develop symptoms, like extreme tiredness and nausea, ten to fifteen years after infection and some go on to develop serious liver disease. HIV may hasten liver damage in people who also have hep C and 97 percent of people with hep C also have HIV. HIV can also hide hep C so the infection may not show up on antibody tests. There’s no vaccine to protect from hep C.

“More and more gay men are finding out they have hep C who hadn’t realised they were hep A, but the liver damage caused can be infected.” much more severe, putting infected people at greater risk for cirrhosis and liver cancer later on in life. Five to ten percent of adults who contract hepatitis B will continue to carry the virus for the rest of their lives. Hepatitis B carriers can pass the virus on to others, although most show no signs of having the virus. About ten percent of carriers will develop serious liver disease that can be fatal. One in 100 infected people die

l For more info, visit: www.hepatitisinfo.org or www.hepctrust.org.uk or www.nam.org.uk. For a list of GUM clinics visit: www.gmfa.org.uk/clinics.


FS123_ADS_FS 07/04/2011 19:34 Page 21


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


FS123_P23_Health2_FS 07/04/2011 19:00 Page 23

health

Party monster David Stuart from Anitidote LGBT gives his advice on what to do when drink and drugs start getting scary. “I’ve been seeing a guy lately, and I really like him. But he disappears into the bathroom a lot during sex and I was starting to wonder if he’s doing drugs. Last time he asked if I’d like to try crystal with him. I said no at the time, but he’s really sexy and seems to like me, so maybe I should. What do you think I should do? Todd via email I’m glad you’ve written in, this is a big decision and it’s always a good idea to get as much information as possible before you decide. Crystal meth is used mostly for sex; it can be sniffed as a powder, or the crystal-like rocks can be smoked in a pipe, prepared for injection, or diluted and squirted up the bum. Even a small amount can keep you awake for days, which causes hallucinations or even psychosis. It does make you feel extra horny, and because of this people often forget to have safer sex, or do other more extreme things they may regret later. The comedowns are very bad, and it may cause depression and tiredness. A lot of people miss days at work because of it. I’m pleased you’ve found someone you like, and who likes you; perhaps if this has a future, you could start by having an honest conversation about your concerns about his use of crystal. Many men who use crystal find it hard to have sober sex, sometimes for years afterwards, and so it’d be a shame to start a relationship that way. Sober sex is all about intimacy -

“Many men who use crystal find it hard to have sober sex, sometimes for years afterwards.”

Below the belt

When things get nasty down below... This monTh:

LGV (Lymphogranuloma venereum)

What is it and how do you get it? LGV is a form of the common sexually transmitted infection chlamydia. LGV can affect the cock and arse and can be passed on by oral sex and fucking without condoms. How do you know you’ve got it? LGV can cause very unpleasant symptoms including pain and swelling inside and outside the

exciting each other, liking each other and you are definitely worth someone paying you some sober sexy attention! Don’t be afraid to communicate what you want, just because you’re impressed with this guy. The best sex (and the best relationship) is about honesty and intimacy.

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.

arse. In some cases this is accompanied by swollen glands in the crotch, and often by a discharge of mucus from the arse (which can be bloody), and constipation. If you are found to have chlamydia in the arse the clinic should send the sample for special tests to see if it is LGV. If left untreated, LGV can cause swelling of the lymph glands and extreme swelling and sores on the cock and balls. A sexual health clinic can test you for LGV and this should form part of routine sexual health check-ups. It is tested for by taking a urine sample or a swab from your cock and arse. How do you treat it? LGV can be

cured with a course of antibiotics. If you have LGV you should inform your recent sexual partners. It’s important that you tell any regular partner so that they can get tested and treated too. You then need to avoid sex with them until the treatment has taken effect (usually a couple of weeks) as it’s common for people to pass it back and forth to each other. If this happens you’ll need treatment again. How do you prevent it? Using condoms will prevent many cases of LGV. If you wanted to reduce the risks further, you would have to use condoms for oral sex. Sucking cock carries a risk even if he doesn’t cum in your mouth.

www.gmfa.org.uk

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FS123_P24_AskGMFA_FS 07/04/2011 19:10 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... Can I get rid of this love-bite?

Did I catch something rimming?

My boyfriend gave me a pretty big love-bite on my neck and I don't want my parents to see it and start asking questions. Is there any way to get rid of it quickly? The best way to hide a love-bite is to cover it with make-up that matches your skin tone. There is something called a ‘concealer’ which might help cover it over. A love-bite is actually blood that gets trapped in the skin after it is sucked out of the capillaries by your boyfriend going to town on your neck. It takes time for the body to reabsorb this blood. It is not dangerous, but it does leave a mark. You can also try putting a warm, wet washcloth against the spot and see if that helps speed up the process.

I rimmed someone for the first time last night. When I woke up this morning my tongue was swollen and red and sore. Now I'm scared and too embarrassed to ask my doctor. Relax. It’s almost impossible for an STI to show up so fast and it may either be from something you had before the rimming or from your nerves over what you did. Rimming is one of the safer sexual acts. You can catch parasites and STIs including gonorrhea, syphilis, hepatitis and herpes if your partner has it but it’s rare. HIV is not passed on from rimming. Most STIs take at least three to five days to show up and many take longer. If you rim someone hard with your tongue you can get irritation from friction as well. I am sure that by the time you read this you will be feeling fine, so relax.

Q

My nipples taste weird! When my partner and I are having sex, my nipples seem to taste strange (almost like latex) when he sucks on them. I can taste/smell it on his breath if he kisses me after he has sucked on my nipples. What could be causing this? Your problem is related to normal apocrine gland secretion and there is nothing to do about it. Everybody produces these secretions but some more than others. You may have that problem under your arms as well but deodorant may mask it. On the plus side is the fact that these secretions are like musk and may actually arouse your partner. If you and your partner don't like it, try putting a dab of cologne (it won't taste good but it will cover the odour) on your nipples. You can also try honey, chocolate, whipped cream or anything else that might appeal to you and your partner.

Q

24 |

Q

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

How risky is… fisting There is a risk of HIV transmission from fisting if the fister (the guy doing the fisting) has cuts or sores on his hand or wrist. If the guy getting fisted is HIV-positive, HIV in his anal mucus (stuff that lines the arse) or any blood inside his arse could get into the bloodstream of the fister through the cuts or sores on his hand. If the fister has HIV, infected blood from the cuts could be absorbed into the bloodstream of the guy getting fisted through the lining of his arse. However, the likelihood of this happening is very low. If more than one person is being fisted, HIV could be passed from one fistee (the guy getting fisted) to another, via anal mucus or blood carried on the fist. When fisting, sharing a pot of lube with a partner can also lead to the transmission of HIV and other STIs as the pot of lube can become contaminated with blood or anal mucus. Using gloves, such as Marigold extra thins or surgical gloves, can cut the risk of most infections if a new pair is used with each sexual partner.


FS123_ADS_FS 07/04/2011 20:02 Page 25


FS123_P26-27_Sortit_FS 07/04/2011 19:14 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…

My HIV-positive mate was Q shagging without a condom

My best mate was diagnosed as HIV-positive 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

26 |

Dear Mr G I don't understand how “forget about it” can be an option. Would you forget about it if your friend was the driver in a hit and run traffic incident? Same result – he could be handing out a death sentence or at the very least a life-changing event, and doesn't think he bears any moral responsibility in the situation at all. John via Facebook

A

Dear Mr G Your mate and this other lad are each responsible for their own actions. However, if we do nothing when people fail to take responsibility for their own actions, then we’re not acting very responsibly ourselves. You can’t force your mate to tell the other lad, but you can encourage him to, and you can show how seriously you take this by refusing to bring any

A


FS123_P26-27_Sortit_FS 07/04/2011 19:14 Page 27

A counsellor’s opinion… “You need to sit down with your friend and discuss it like adults, not go behind his back like a child.” more benefits to your friendship until your mate does the right thing. If your mate wants to do the right thing but doesn’t know how to face this lad, he can ask a health adviser at his clinic to act on his behalf. That will be more effective than your acting on your mate’s behalf, because your passing this information on could come across like jealous hearsay and be dismissed rather than taken seriously. Henry, Doncaster via email

Dear Mr G I think while the automatic reaction is that you should say something, what you have to remember is that the guy who he was with also indulged in sex without protection, and obviously he has to be aware of the dangers of having unprotected sex. If you keep having unprotected sex there is an increased risk of contracting HIV. Personally I would not say anything. Brian via Facebook

A

Dear Mr G This is not the school playground – we are not children. You also have to realise you would be disclosing your friend’s status to a third party who didn't have sex with him and wasn't at risk – it is not for you to do that. If you really are concerned then you need to sit down with your friend and discuss it like adults, not go behind his back like a child. Clearly you feel uncomfortable with what happened – and I suspect it is about more than just your concern for the other guy. So, you need to be having this conversation with your friend. Andrew via Facebook

A

Sona Barbosa, Counsellor Team Leader for the GMI Partnerships says: Dear Mr G Most of all I really appreciate what a difficult and sensitive position you are in! There seem to be several issues at stake here: the situation itself and the potential risky sexual behaviour, your friendship with, and perhaps loyalty to, your friend and your sense of responsibility with the two lads. Let us consider the situation itself. Has it ever happened before? Have you and your mate an understanding on how to proceed (in terms of safer sex) when you take people home with you? Was there an agreement or conversation about using protection between these lads? Was it just your friend and his partner who did not use a condom? It is important to consider these questions and reflect on the responsibility shared by all of you in keeping sex safer. Now, let us reflect on your friendship. You stated you are best mates with him. Does that mean you have good communication? Primarily it would be your friend’s responsibility to disclose his status. It seems to me that before you make any decision you need to have a good talk with him to express how you feel and your worries about what happened. If yours is a good and strong relationship you should be able to have an honest conversation without letting it turn into a confrontation and without judging each other.

A

anD reMeMber... As many as one in four gay men who find out they have HIV only get

“You need to have a good talk with him to express how you feel and your worries about what happened.”

their HIV diagnosed after they've had the virus for many years. By then it has already caused serious damage to their health and decreased their life expectancy. Doctors recently discovered that people who find out they have HIV early could live up to 16 years longer than if they are infected but don't know. The earlier you are diagnosed, the longer you can expect to live. If you know you have HIV at an early stage you can take time to prepare for any tough times, like starting medication or telling those close to you. If you find out you have HIV during the late stages of infection, things have to move fast. You may get seriously ill and have to go on medication straight away. The sooner you know you have HIV, the better, so Mr G may want to consider this before making his decision.

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… The other evening I was at home and bored so I turned on Grindr and started chatting to a guy. We met up, went for a drink and I have no idea what happened next but all I remember is waking up in my room with no clothes on and he was gone. I don’t know if we fucked or not and I don’t know if we used a condom either. I have never been so drunk in my life and I’m starting to think my drink was spiked. I’ve tried messaging him but he’s ignored them and now I think he’s blocked me. I don’t know if he is positive and I don’t have any way to find out now. I know I should go and get tested but the thought of becoming positive scares me. I’d much rather not know and I just feel I wouldn’t cope. I feel so embarrassed at what I’ve done. Any help would be appreciated. Damien – Nottingham

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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FS123_P28-29_listings MEA_FS 07/04/2011 19:19 Page 28

i

Listings

Groups and services in the Midlands and East Anglia... LeiCester

Clinics

Condoms by post

Birmingham

Birmingham

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.

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.

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

Coventry/ WarWiCkshire

28 |

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

teLford and Wrekin

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

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

LeiCester lTrade can deliver condoms to anyone living in Leicester and Rutland. Phone: 0116 254 1747, www.tradesexualhealth.com.

south staffordshire

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

Counselling Birmingham lHealthy Gay Life Counselling Service: sexual and mental health counselling service. P: 0121 446 1085 W: www.hgl.nhs.uk. lTHT Midlands: phone: (0121) 694 6440.

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.

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

nottingham

Courses and workshops

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

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.

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

teLford and Wrekin

Birmingham

WoLverhampton

lHGL run regular assertiveness, relationships, and confidencebuilding courses. Phone: 0121 440 6161 or visit: www.hgl.nhs.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.

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. E: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. E:mthogg@mac.com.

Drop-in centres

Helplines

Birmingham

lTHT Direct: 0845 12 21 200

LeiCester

lMesmen Project: offers condoms and lube by post to men who live in South Staffordshire. P: 01543 411 413, www.mesmen.co.uk.

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

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

and Friday 2.30 - 6.30 at 146 Bromsgrove Street, Birmingham. Phone: 0121 4406 161

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

derByshire lDerbyshire LGB&T help, info and advice line: 01332 349 333. Tuesday to Thursday 10am-1pm and 7.30-9.30pm.

LeiCester lTrade: 0116 2541747. Monday to Thursday 9.30am-5.30pm and Friday 9.30am-4pm.

The FS team for issue 123 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.


FS123_P28-29_listings MEA_FS 07/04/2011 19:19 Page 29

lLGBT Helpline: 0116 255 0667. 7.30-10pm on alternate Tuesdays and every Thursday.

Phone THT Coventry on: 024 7622 9292.

staffordshire

norfoLk

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.

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

nottinghamshire 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, e: notts@lgswitchboard.fsnet.co.uk.

Support groups 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. 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.

teLford and Wrekin lI-Mix: weekly. For info phone: 01952 221410, or email: info.shropshire@tht.org.uk. lMarried Men’s Group (MMG): a support group for men who are married or in a relationship with a woman.Meets alternate Wednesdays. Ph: 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

GUM clinics

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

CannoCk

derByshire

Coventry

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.

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

norfoLk BLAH: 25 and unders group meets in safe venues in Norwich, Great Yarmouth and Kings Lynn. For more info phone: 01603 624924 or email: blahyouth@hotmail.co.uk.

nottingham 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.

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

redditCh

Coventry

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.

LoughBorough lLoughborough GUM Phone: 01509 568 888

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

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. Phone: 024 7622 9292.

norfoLk

LeiCester lLeicester GUM Ph: 0116 258 5208

Birmingham

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

derByshire

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

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

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

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.

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

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.

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

south staffordshire lSamuel Johnson Hospital: Phone: 01827 236 810

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

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

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

teLford 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

derBy lLondon Road Community Hospital London Road, Dudley DE1 2QY. Phone: 01322 254681 lQueens Hospital, Belvedere Rd, Burton-on-Trent, DE13 0RB Phone: 01283 593 212

dudLey

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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FS123_P30_Last Chance_FS 07/04/2011 19:18 Page 30

Last CHanCe Here are some things to remember from this issue... ainst onal Day Ag It’s Internati on 17 May. What can ia Homophob ke a difference? a you do to m

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30

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IF RE! hout s ld u o h s What youattention if you to bring attacked. are being

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Hep C

Half of infected people never experience symptoms.

Correction: last month this page said that 47% of gay men have been vaccinated for hep C. This was incorrect. It should have read “hep B”. There is no vaccination for hep C, and many people have it without even knowing it. It can cause serious health problems or even death. For more info, www.gmfa.org.uk/hep.

30 |


FS123_ADS_FS 07/04/2011 19:52 Page 31


CMI ADS_FS 17/11/2010 22:11 Page 32

Chris

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


FS123_MEA