Issuu on Google+

FS124_COVER_FS 17/06/2011 08:02 Page 2

Midlands & East Anglia

THe fIT And sexy gAy mAg IssUe #124 sUmmeR 2011

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TOP HOLIdAy TIPs

Get your Pride on Make this the best year ever

+

“Am I a druggie?”

t o hin the summer

HIV stereotypes – do you have them? “We shagged, but I can’t remember...”

MAkE your suMMEr sizzlE


Terrence Higgins Trust is a registered charity in England & Wales (no.288527) and in Scotland (no.SC039986)

Poppers make blood vessels in the arse expand. This can make it more likely HIV is passed on if a negative man uses poppers when being fucked by a man with HIV. Condoms greatly lower this risk. For more on how HIV is passed on and how poppers increase the risk, visit chapsonline.org.uk/biology or call


FS124_P03_Contents_FS 17/06/2011 08:07 Page 3

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9 26

Hello

Taaaa-dah…

Oh yes, summer is definitely here and boy are we ready for it. We’ve packed this issue with all of our top tips on how to make this the best summer ever. Whether you’re jetting off on holiday or hanging out in the back garden, we’ve got you covered. Don’t forget... the FS magazine UK app is available on iTunes, and with it you can download the current issue, previous issues and other great stuff from FS. Once you have the app on your device, every new issue of FS will be sent directly to you. And Brought to you by it’s all free! And hang tight Android phone users, a version especially for you is almost ready. To download the free app go to www.bit.ly/fsmagapp or just search iTunes for ‘FS Magazine UK’.

Join us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/fsmag Come on... do it now!

Funded by the Pan London HIV Prevention Programme Cary James, Editor 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

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Bisexual Support Group (2nd Tuesday of the month)

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

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146 Bromsgrove Street Birmingham B5 6RG

Friday

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10am - 2.30pm Advice and counselling appointments only

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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


FS124_P05_Upfront_FS 17/06/2011 08:14 Page 6

!

UPFRONT

Get your Pride on!

It’s that time of year again, when the sun is (hopefully) shining, rainbow flags fill the air, and hot shirtless boys fill the streets – oh yes Pride season is well and truly under way. And with so many events to choose from this year, you are spoilt for choice. Here are some tips on how to make the most of the big day.

1. get an early start Pride is basically gay Christmas and the gayest day of the year, so make the most of it. Don’t worry about 4. Don’t forget to eat sleep, get out there and have fun. Some say “eating is cheating” but 2. Don’t peak too soon for Pride it’s vital to break that rule. If you start out doing vodka shots Eating can give you the extra energy and Jagerbombs before breakfast, to last the distance and also help chances are you’re going be passed soak up some of the alcohol you’ve out (or in A&E) by lunchtime. consumed. Remember Pride is a marathon, not 5. rub on some sun block a sprint. Even if it’s cloudy, you can still get a 3. Drink lots of water nasty sunburn if you are outside all Being out in the sun, drinking day. And a bright red face isn’t a alcohol (or even taking recreational good look for post Pride parties. Put drugs if you choose to do them) can some SPF 15 on before you leave the lead to one thing – dehydration. It’s house and bring some with you so one of the main reasons people end you can top it up later. up in the medic tent on Pride day, make sure you drink plenty of water 6. Have a brilliant Day Simples! throughout the day.

Pride dates l Norwich Pride Saturday 30 July 2011 l Nottingham Pride Saturday 30 July 2011 l Stoke Pride Saturday 6 August 2011 l Derby Goes Pink Saturday 20 August 2011

For information about other Pride festivals that are going on throughout the rest of the UK visit; www.gaytoz.com/ gay_pride_dates.asp. www.gmfa.org.uk

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FS124_P06-07_PAGE6_FS 17/06/2011 08:22 Page 6

6 upfront

top holiday tips

Holiday… celebrate! If you have scraped together enough cash to go on holiday this summer, here’s a quick checklist to make sure you are ready to rumble.

Don’t forget the insurance 1

Travel insurance is essential, If you have an accident or are taken seriously ill when abroad you’re not always guaranteed free healthcare, and it could cost thousands of pounds to get the treatment you need. If you are travelling to another European Economic Area (EEA) country you should obtain an European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) before you travel. This will provide you with free or reduced cost medical care in the EEA and some other countries. You can apply for one online at www.ehic.org.uk, calling 0845 606 2030, or by filling in a form, which is available in post offices. 2

Get your jabs

For most European countries you don’t need any travel vaccinations, but if you’re planning on going further afield you may need some.These vaccinations usually need to be given six weeks before travel. If you leave it too late the vaccination may not have enough time to work and may not offer any protection. You can get

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FS124_P06-07_PAGE6_FS 17/06/2011 08:22 Page 7

them from your GP or a local travel clinic (both may charge you). 3

Be prepared

It’s always good to have a few things in your bag for emergencies. A good kit will include: paracetamol or ibuprofen (for pain), Imodium Instants (for diarrhoea), insect repellent (varieties containing “deet” are best), antihistamine tablets or cream (for bites and hay fever), after-sun and sunburn cream, and water proof plasters. Remember to bring any medication you are taking in its original packaging and keep it in your carry-on in case they lose your luggage. And don’t forget condoms and lube. Packing polyurethane condoms, like Durex Avanti, Mates Skyn, or Pasante Unique, means that you don’t have to use water-based or silicone-based lube. You can use whatever you have handy, even if it has oil in it. And if you end up having a quickie in the dunes covered in tanning lotion, you don’t have to worry about getting it on the condom. 4

Bring your papers

Make sure you bring: two photocopies of your passport , travel insurance print-out, travel plan, a note from your doctor or a copy of the prescriptions for any medication you are bringing, and your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). 5

Join us on

Facebook! 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!

Ring your bank

These days many banks and credit card companies want you to tell them if you are planning on using your debit or credit cards abroad. If you don’t, you may find they get declined. A quick phone call before you leave should ensure you aren’t left short. 6

Be smart and have fun

Going a bit crazy is part of being on holiday, but just remember that you can still catch STIs, including HIV. Many European countries have much stronger drinks and pour much larger measures of spirits than they do at home. Be careful if you risk taking recreational drugs. You’re away from home and in a strange environment, so you are more vulnerable. Ending up in hospital or even in a foreign jail on a drugs charge is no one’s idea of good holiday. 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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FS124_P09-12_Summer feature_FS 17/06/2011 08:32 Page 9

cover story

Make your summer FS gives its hottest advice on how to enjoy our favourite season of the year

t

sizzle! www.gmfa.org.uk

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FS124_P09-12_Summer feature_FS 17/06/2011 08:32 Page 10

LifestyLe

Sex it up Whether you stay at home or go abroad, it can still be a hot summer – so long as you avoid overindulging in sex, drink and drugs. “Of course you want to let your hair down and party in the summer,” says GMFA’s Matthew Hodson. “But there’s no doubt that drugs and alcohol change the way you think and feel. Even subtle effects from drugs or alcohol can alter your judgment, perceptions and the decisions you make. You may find that when you are drunk or off your face, you do things you would not do when you are sober. This could include things like telling yourself that it's OK to have unprotected sex with someone 'just this once'. That's why it's very important to plan for safer sex.” The key is to think ahead. As Matthew explains: “Thinking about the kinds of sex you want and don't want can help. If you know your sexual boundaries when you're sober it will make you more likely to make the same choices when you're not. Limiting the amount of drugs and alcohol you take can be easier said than done. The effects of drugs and alcohol depend on many things, like the amount of food you've eaten or the general mood you are in before taking them. However, if you know your limits and try to stick to them you are less likely to regret your behaviour the next day.”

Don’t get burned For a lot of us, summer means getting a bit of a tan. Whether you’re on an idyllic tropical beach, or in your own back garden, it’s important to do it properly and to avoid getting burned. Recent information released by Cancer Research UK confirmed that more men die of skin cancer than women and the rate of skin cancer in men has doubled in the last three decades. Now we know that a lot of guys still want a tan, so if you do, do it safely. Always wear a sunscreen if you are headed outside (even if it’s cloudy). SPF 15 and above are best. Avoid the midday sun if possible. If you have moles on your skin, always keep an eye on them and if

they turn darker or change shape, get them checked out at the GP pronto. For more information visit: www.cancerresearchuk.org.

Do something sporty No point sitting in the house when the weather is nice - you have the rest of the year for that. Why not take up an outdoor sport? There are loads of gay clubs covering just about every sport you can imagine – football, rugby, volleyball, golf, walking, and the list goes on. It’s not just a great way to stay fit, it’s also a way to meet new people and have a lot of fun. Join now for an action packed summer. For information on how to findgay sports clubs, visit www.gmfa.org.uk/theguide.

Speak the language of love Whether you’re getting ready for a holiday abroad or readying yourself to welcome hot guys coming to the UK, it’s useful to know a few words of another language. Many English speakers think there’s no need to learn other languages, because if someone doesn’t understand you all you need to do is speak slower and louder – and if that fails, just point to what you want. But this technique doesn’t always work, particularly if you hope to venture away from tourist areas and get to know the locals. There are loads of language courses you can sign up for. Contact your local Adult Education Centre for information. If the prospect of learning an entire new language is daunting, you should at least learn a few key words and phrases. Most guidebooks include basic phrases and you can also download language apps to your iPhone – some of which do the talking for you. But if you really want your summer to sizzle, you’ll need to learn some words that you won’t automatically find in a phrasebook! “It’s always useful to know a couple of phrases if you’re

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Thinking about the kinds of sex you want and don’t want can help.


FS124_P09-12_Summer feature_FS 17/06/2011 08:32 Page 11

Fs holiday phrasebook COCK Spanish: Polla (poy-yah) French: Bite (bee-te) Italian: Cazzo (cat-so)

ARSE Spanish: Culo (koo-low) French: Cul, rondelle, oignon Italian: Culo

FUCK (FUCK ME) Spanish: Follame (foya-may) or jodeme (hoda-may) French: Baise-moi (bay-zay-mwah) Italian: Scopami (scope-ah-mee)

SUCK MY COCK Spanish: Chupame la polla (chup-a-may lah poy-yah) French: Pompe la moi Italian: Succhialo (sook-ee-ah-loh)

HARDER Spanish: Mas fuerte! (fwer-tay) French: Plus fort! (ploo-fore) Italian: Sebattini per bene!

CONDOM Spanish: Condon (con-don) French: Preservatif, capote Italian: Profilattico

LUBE Spanish: Lubricante French: Lubrifiant, gel Italian: Lubrificante

THANK YOU Spanish: Gracias (grath-ee-ass) French: Merci (mare-see) Italian: Grazie (grat-see)

I'M HIV-POSITIVE Spanish: Soy sero-positivo French: Je suis seropo Italian: Sono siero-positivo

I'M HIV-NEGATIVE Spanish: Soy sero-negativo French: Je suis sero-negatif Italian: Sono siero-negativ

www.gmfa.org.uk

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FS124_P09-12_Summer feature_FS 17/06/2011 08:32 Page 12

out the local talent. and see your GP as soon as you can. There are lots of lidoes across the To find out more information visit: UK so there are more places than www.cancerhelp.org.uk. ever to have a dip. Plus they are always full of gayers, so they can be great places to hang out with friends or meet new ones. Oh, and it’s great There ain’t nothing like a bit of summer loving, so get out there and exercise too. To find your local lido, get in on the action. visit www.lidos.org.uk. If you have a boyfriend, then a picnic or trip to the seaside can On a lovely sunny day, why not get a really get your romantic juices group of friends together and head to OK, it’s a bit naughty and not really flowing. And if you’re single, then allowed in most places, but if you’re the park for a picnic, or find a instead of just picking up a shag at a careful and respectful of others – peaceful spot to just read a book? bar or online, why don’t you plan what the hell? It’s bloody good fun. Nowadays, our parks aren’t just something a bit different? Meet for a empty spaces – they’re used as walk in the park, or an al fresco concert venues, festival sites and cappuccino in a café, and see what even as gyms. happens. Sometimes getting to If the recession means that a Many parks in London and know someone a bit more first can fortnight away isn’t an option in beyond have installed outdoor be more fun than your average 2011, why not have a cheap gyms developed by the ‘wham-bam-thank-you-man’ but brilliant holiday in Great Outdoor Gym hook-up. your own home? Company All you need is to (www.tgogc.com), have a holiday featuring There is nothing quite like the feeling mindset, and to equipment like research and plan of the wind blowing through your treadmills, ahead to find fun bum fluff on a hot summer day. cross-training And there are loads of places you and fascinating machines, and can go starkers outdoors in this things to do abdominal great nation of ours, from nude locally – just as benches, plus you would if you beaches to secret skinny dipping freestyle areas were going away. spots. Google ‘naked swimming uk’ for gymnastics, The official website or visit www.nuff.org.uk. aerobics, and of the British Tourist taekwondo – and Authority has loads of they’re free! Should hints and tips on you need motivating, discovering Britain’s hidden the largest and longesttreasures. They even have a running provider of outdoor dedicated gay page, fitness classes in the UK is British www.visitbritain.com/rainbow. Military Fitness By holidaying at home you avoid (www.britmilfit.com). Founded by the hassle of packing, you won’t fall gay former British Army officer victim to delays or lost luggage or Robin Cope, they have classes in 105 parks across the UK, each run by industrial action by air traffic controllers, and it doesn’t matter if fully-trained instructors with you’ve mislaid your passport – all genuine military backgrounds woof! The first class is free, so what you need to focus on is having fun! have you got to lose? somewhere where few people speak English,” agrees GMFA’s Matthew Hodson, “and you can learn the words for ‘condoms’ or ‘safer sex’ fairly simply, but the very act of getting condoms out will be well-understood, and requires no language skills.”

Get some parklife

Go dating

Shag outside

Holiday at home

it’s always best to bring along your own condom and lube

Get checked out Summer and shagging go hand in hand, whether you’re on holiday or just hot and bothered at home. Get yourself a full sexual health MOT to make sure you are fit and ready for action. And if you are bonking like the Energizer bunny all summer, it’s probably a good idea to get checked out at the end of the summer as well. To find your nearest GUM clinic, check out the listings at the end of this mag or visit www.gmfa.org.uk/clinics.

Dive into the lido Swimming is always a summertime favourite for cooling off and checking

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Get naked

Feel yourself up

Testicular cancer is the most common cancer in guys under 30. Checking yourself out regularly will help you become more aware of the normal feel and size of your testicles so that any abnormalities can be spotted early on. And let’s face it, since you’ll probably be living in shorts most of the summer, you’ll have easy access. To examine yourself for lumps, support the scrotum in the palm of your hand and become familiar with the size and weight of each testicle. Examine each testicle by rolling it between your fingers and thumb. Gently feel for lumps, swellings, or changes in firmness. If you notice anything unusual, go

Post your pix! Before your beach-fit body and sun-kissed skin fade away, along with your memories of summer, we want to see you! Find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/fsmag and post your pics on our wall...


FS123_ADS_FS 07/04/2011 19:34 Page 21


FS124_P14-18_Stereo feature_FS 17/06/2011 08:35 Page 14

HealtH

Listen without prejudice HIV has been around for 30 years but, although education and medication have both greatly improved, the stigma surrounding the virus is still rife, as FS reveals...

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FS124_P14-18_Stereo feature_FS 17/06/2011 08:36 Page 15

When Elton John visited 10 Downing Street, HIV and AIDS were once again thrown into the spotlight. Elton was meeting with the Prime Minister to discuss the work of his Elton John AIDS Foundation which aims to: support people living with the virus, fund HIV prevention programmes, and eliminate stigma associated with the illness. While a lot of progress has been made when it comes to HIV, stigma is mentioned more rarely, even though it’s all around us. Avert, the international HIV and AIDS charity, believes it still exists because people don’t fully understand HIV and react to it in strong ways. There’s also a lot of inaccurate information about how the virus is transmitted, creating irrational behaviour and misconceptions of personal risk. And HIV is related to sex and homosexuality – things that are still taboo in many circles. So FS decided to look at the affects of stigma, and the stereotyping that goes along with it and how it is feeding the continued spread of HIV in our community...

Can we talk? Much of the advice aimed at men with HIV encourages them to discuss their status with sexual partners, but this can lead to some uncomfortable conversations. Chris, 25, from London has had first hand experience of the stigma of HIV affecting his life. “I recently picked up a guy in my local gay bar and before we’d even left the bar, I told him I had HIV,” he reveals. “After that he made an excuse and said he needed to go and that he’d text me. I knew I’d never hear from him again. Not all negative guys react this way but some do. I feel I can only look for sex with HIV-positive guys but that just ghettoises HIV and that’s not fair.” Mikey, 27, from Birmingham reports something similar. “The last time I disclosed my status to a shag, he said he didn’t do HIV-positive guys and stormed out. This made me angry and upset as I’m always completely safe but he didn’t even stay around to find that out.” “Of course everyone has the right to turn down anyone they don’t want to have sex with, and on one level it’s good that men want to remain negative,” says Matthew Hodson of GMFA, the gay men’s health charity. “But if someone thinks that rejecting sex with guys who tell them that they have HIV is

an effective way of staying HIV negative they are wrong. If you have sex with lots of guys you are going to be having sex with some men with HIV, whether you know it or not.” Although 50% of gay men expect an HIV positive man to disclose, research indicates that only 20% of men with diagnosed HIV will actually do so. Furthermore, about one in five men with HIV don’t even know they have it and so would never disclose. If you base your sexual choices on false expectations of disclosure or assumptions that all the men you have sex with are HIV negative you are putting yourself at risk of acquiring HIV. “If you are HIV-negative, the best way to ensure that you are not putting yourself at risk when you fuck is to assume that a number of men you will have sex with will be HIV-positive, and to always use condoms.” Matthew goes on to say that if an HIV-positive guy doesn’t tell his partner his status and has risky sex, he himself is feeding the belief that there is something to fear

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“It’s up to both men to act responsibly and sensitively.”

www.gmfa.org.uk

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FS124_P14-18_Stereo feature_FS 17/06/2011 08:36 Page 16

feelings of confidence and value, by doing a bit of positive thinking and by considering counselling,” he says. If the stigma of HIV can be reduced, then the loneliness of guys with it can be reduced too.

going on a confidence building course can improve self esteem and give positive guys strategies to deal with life,” explains Sona.

The only way is up

Experts say that making assumptions about someone’s status because of the way they look is a key reason why infection rates are still so high. So stereotypes surrounding HIV-positive men also play a part in the spread of the virus.

With positive men being rejected and isolated, it’s hardly a surprise to discover Research shows that some can have very low self HIV-positive guys can esteem. “This lack of experience feelings of guilt, confidence and esteem can blame and shame because of the association of HIV with sex stem from the reactions of and disease. And this can lead people who a guy might have disclosed his status to,” to them feeling left out of society. In fact, a global survey confirms Sona Barbosa, a counselling psychologist for of HIV-positive people in 2010 showed that around 40 percent the GMI Partnership, the HIV prevention service. often felt alone and isolated because they have the virus. This in itself can have negative

Outside of the crowd

consequences for the community. HIV-positive guys with low self-esteem can begin to feel as if life is against them and have riskier sex than they would if they felt better about themselves. This can not only put them at risk of picking up other STIs but also puts negative guys at risk of contracting HIV. Yet there are ways in which HIV-positive men can begin to feel better about themselves. “Doing things to build confidence, such as

“Some guys think you can tell who is HIV-positive by their looks or actions, or where they hang out or have sex,” explains Matthew Hodson from GMFA, the gay men’s health charity. “They expect that healthylooking men could not possibly be infected,” adds Dr Adam Bourne of Sigma Research. “If someone belives he can tell which men are HIV-negative, then he must have a stereotype about how men with HIV look,” says Matthew. This comes from a belief within the gay community that people taking HIV drugs will look thin, sick , or have other visible symptoms. Adam adds- “This may influence their decision whether or not to use condoms with such a guy.” Yet these assumptions are extremely misguided, as visible signs of someone having HIV are becoming increasingly less common with continuing improvements in treatments.

t

It seems their fears are not without foundation either. “We know half of negative men tell researchers they would turn down a man for sex if he said he had HIV,” reveals Richard Scholey from the Terrence Higgins Trust. “In smaller towns with limited gay scenes this means an openly positive man may find it difficult to get sex or date someone.” Agony uncle Peter Stevens frequently comes across this in the letters and emails he receives. “Guys of all ages write to me because they feel isolated as a result of their HIV-positive status,” he explains. “We might laugh at the Priscilla Queen of the Desert musical when the side of the bus is graffitied by ignorant locals with the slogan, ‘AIDS fuckers go home!’ but many positive men rightly feel there’s stigma attached to their status and that they need to hide it or not bring it up.” But Peter says there is a solution: “I try to get them to take action to replace the shame and guilt with

What do you know?

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from HIV-positive men. “It’s up to both HIV-positive and HIV-negative men to act responsibly and sensitively in these situations in order to avoid the chances of HIV being passed on. Only then can we say that we are doing everything we can to stop the spread of HIV in our community”

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FS124_P14-18_Stereo feature_FS 17/06/2011 08:36 Page 17

“You can live with HIV without any visible symptoms whatsoever,” says Adam. So it really is impossible to tell if someone’s positive just by looking at them, making safer sex all the more important. “HIV-negative men who take risks based on assumptions or stereotypes about HIV-positive men often end up catching HIV themselves,” says Matthew. “Their prejudice regarding people with HIV can result in them catching the virus themselves.”

Finding the words Jas, 21, from London is a negative guy who never brings up the subject of HIV, no matter who he’s having sex with. “I go to saunas quite a bit and I would always assume that if a guy doesn’t mention a condom then he must be negative too or else he would insist on them,” he says. “This is the kind of attitude that can lead to negative men becoming infected,” says Matthew. Particularly when statistics show that one in four guys with HIV don’t even know they have it. “If more men felt able to be open about being positive it could only help reduce the spread of the virus,” says Richard Scholey. “Similarly if more negative men asked about their partners’ HIV status, instead of just assuming they must be negative too, that would also make a difference to the spread”. The message from the experts seems to be pretty clear – gay men need to talk more about HIV whatever their status, something that doesn’t seem to happen much at the moment.

Putting it to the test

“Men who have the virus but are unaware of the fact have a greater chance of infecting others.”

Unfortunately the stigma of HIV leads to many guys not testing, in case they find out they’re positive.

“Some men fear the consequences of HIV infection so much that they don’t want to take a test,” confirms Dr Adam Bourne. This has led to many guys assuming they’re

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negative, when the opposite is true. “Many men don’t consider the possibility of undiagnosed infection – they believe if you get HIV you will somehow feel it’s happened” says Richard Scholey. Yet men who have the virus but are unaware of the fact have a greater chance of infecting others than those receiving treatment. “We know that guys who’ve become infected with HIV but who have not been diagnosed will not be on HIV medication,” explains Adam. “This means that over time the level of the virus in their blood and in their semen will grow higher and higher. The higher a person’s viral load, the more likely it is that that they will transmit HIV to another person if they are having unprotected sex”. Plus the sooner you know you have HIV, the sooner you can get treatment that will lessen the negative effects the virus has on your longterm health and your life.

It might be 30 years since HIV first reared its head in the USA, but the virus and the suffering it brings aren’t going away. So whether someone’s positive or negative, we clearly all have a role to play in breaking down stigma and stereotypes surrounding it. Because by doing so, we’ll not only help to curb the continuing spread of HIV but also change the lives of those living with HIV for the better.


FS124_P14-18_Stereo feature_FS 17/06/2011 08:36 Page 18

If we are going to stop the spread of HIV, each of us needs to take responsibility for using condoms, every time.

Together we can change things How you can help in the fight against HIV with GMFA’s Count Me In five-point action plan: 1. I will know my HIV status One in four gay men who have HIV don’t know they have it. If you don’t find out you have HIV until you become ill, it can cause more damage to your health than if you found out earlier. If you don’t know you have HIV and continue to have unsafe sex you could be spreading HIV without even knowing it. But if you know for certain that you don’t have HIV, you’ll be more motivated to not to catch it. The best way to know your HIV status is to test regularly. New tests mean that you can get your result in just a few minutes. Check out the listings at the back of the magazine for HIV testing services or visit www.gmfa.org.uk/testing.

2. I will not assume I know someone else’s HIV status Some people think they can tell if someone has HIV by what they look like, their age, where they met them, or if they look ‘healthy’ or ‘sick’. The truth is you can’t tell if someone has HIV or not. To take risks based on stereotypes that you have about people with or without HIV is a bad idea and leads to the spread of HIV.

3. I will take personal responsibility for using condoms “Well he didn’t seem bothered about using condoms, so I just went along with it.” Sound familiar? Some of us end up having sex without condoms because we leave it to the other guy to bring it up, or because we are too embarrassed to bring it up ourselves. If we are going to stop the spread of HIV, each of us needs to take responsibility for using condoms, every time.

4. I will value myself and my health Feeling good about yourself and wanting to be healthy play a big part in choosing safer sex. If you feel depressed, you are more likely to take risks than if you are feeling good about life. So if you’re feeling a bit down, ring your mates, get some exercise, or join a social group. There’s free counselling available to gay men around the UK that can help. Check out the listings at the back of this magazine for more information.

5. I will stay informed about HIV and how it’s spread Most of us think we know all there is to know about HIV and how it’s spread. But there’s still a lot of bad information out there and you may be taking risks without even knowing it. Make sure you have the best information by getting it from a trusted source. Check out www.gmfa.org.uk/sex for the most up to date information and advice on how to have the best sex with the lowest risk.

Info If you’re HIV-positive and feel low or depressed, then seek help to build your self-esteem and you will feel better. Check out www.gmfa.org.uk, or www.gmipartnership.org.uk for lots of information about courses and help with dealing with your HIV status.

www.gmfa.org.uk

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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


FS124_P21_Health_FS 17/06/2011 08:37 Page 21

HEALTH

* HEALTH

Dare to tell If someone you had sex with found out he had an STI, you would want to know, right?

But if it happened to you, would you be able to tell them? FS finds out why it’s important to know and to tell, and reveals a new service that makes both of them easier. Using condoms will protect you from many sexually transmitted infections, and many of them are easily cured or can be vaccinated against. However, the transmission of some STIs is very difficult to prevent, even if you have safer sex, so sexually active gay men should go for a check-up about every six months to test for these infections. You may have an STI without knowing it, so sexual health check-ups are an important part of staying healthy. Left untreated, STIs can cause serious health problems or even death. Being infected with one STI can also make others easier to catch. If you are HIV-positive, other STIs can make it more likely that you'll pass on HIV if you fuck without condoms. If you are HIV-negative, being infected with another STI can make you more vulnerable to HIV infection. So basically, it’s always better to know.

Why it’s important to tell If you've been diagnosed with an STI, don't assume that your previous sex partners already know if they have an STI. It is possible to be infected without having any symptoms. The person who gave you an STI probably didn't know they had one and, without knowing, you may have already passed on your STI to someone else.

So even if you feel a bit awkward about informing your sexual partners that you have an STI, it's really important that you do it so they have the opportunity to get tested and treated. To make it a lot easier to both give and receive this kind of information, GMFA has developed a messaging service, which can be used anonymously, to tell people you have slept with that you have been diagnosed with an STI.

Here’s how it works At the clinic you are given a special code to log on to GMFA’s Sexual Health Messaging Service website. You’re then asked to put in your partners’ details, like an email address, phone number or online profile name on Gaydar, Fitlads or Recon. All messages can be anonymous and are sent out from an automated system, so cannot be traced. This is the first and only service that lets you send messages via gay dating sites. But it will only work if you and your partners ‘opt-in’ to receive messages on the dating site. It doesn’t mean you’re a slag or dirty or even likely to catch an STI, it just means that you know how important it is to know if you have an STI or not, and want to make it as easy as possible to find out. It makes sense, doesn’t it?

Here’s a quick guide to getting started: 1. On Fitlads: Log in, visit this page: www.fitlads.net/members/gmfa/ index.php and hit the button that says: 'Yes, let GMFA message me'.

2. On Gaydar: When you're logged in, search for and open the ‘gmfa-pn’ profile, then click on the 'Clear Thought' icon (it looks like a thought bubble and sits between the paw and cup of coffee icons).

3. On recOn: When you're logged in, go to 'My Account' then 'Privacy' and then under 'GMFA Messages' tick the box where it says 'Allow GMFA to send messages to my Message Centre Inbox'.

l For more information of GMFA’s partner notification messaging service please visit: http://bit.ly/FAQpn. www.gmfa.org.uk

|21


FS123_ADS_FS 07/04/2011 19:52 Page 31


FS124_P23_Health2_FS 17/06/2011 08:39 Page 23

health

Party monster David Stuart from London Friend gives his advice on what to do when drink and drugs start getting scary. “Me and my friends go out a lot on the weekend, and although they do drugs, I never do; I can have a good time dancing and socialising without drugs. But I do smoke a couple of spliffs every day, and my friends have the cheek to call me a druggie! They're wrong aren't they? Isn't marijuana harmless?” Nick Right or wrong, it's certainly not very nice to be called a "druggie". Maybe your friends are trying to say they've noticed a change in you and they're worried. Or maybe they're just defensive about the drugs they're doing on the weekend. It's true to say that marijuana is less problematic than some other drugs, but it's not completely harmless either. There's some evidence that suggests that smoking in your teens or early twenties can make you more likely to suffer from mental health problems later in life: problems like depression, or perhaps even more serious conditions debated). We know for certain that marijuana can exacerbate pre-existing mental health problems, and cause psychotic episodes in people who otherwise might be stable on their medications. We need motivation to get up and move forward sometimes, and marijuana is, for many, a motivation killer and a way to avoid facing difficult things. Things like making new friends, or enjoying new passtimes. It can make it harder to make difficult decisions, deal with the past or think about the future. Whether you're smoking too much or not is a decision you have

Weknow forcertainthat marijuanacan exacerbate pre-existing mentalhealth problems.

Below thebelt

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

Gonorrhoea

What is it? Gonorrhoea is a bacterial infection you can get in your cock, arse, throat, or eyes. How do you get it? You can catch it by fucking or getting fucked without a condom, rimming, giving or receiving blow-jobs or by getting an infected guy’s cum in your eye.

to make yourself, but it may help to talk about it with friends or even a counsellor. Both Terrence Higgins Trust and London Friend have people you can speak with about this, and it's always better to be well-informed when using drugs.

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.

How do you prevent it? Using condoms will prevent many cases of gonorrhoea. 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. Many guys have gonorrhoea in their throat and don’t even know it, so if they suck you off, you could catch it. How do you know you’ve got it? Symptoms can include a white or greenish pus coming out of your cock and a burning sensation when you piss or cum. Infection in your arse may be noticeable by

a yellowish pus, fresh blood on your poo, mild diarrhoea, or itching and pain when pooing. Infection via your mouth can result in a sore throat and sometimes a cough. Red, swollen, weeping eyes are also symptoms. Sometimes there are no symptoms or they are too mild to be noticeable, particularly with gonorrhoea in the arse and throat. How do you treat it? Gonorrhoea is treatable and is completely curable.

l For more info on gonorrhoea and other STIs or to find a clinic: visit www.gmfa.org.uk/sex.

www.gmfa.org.uk

|23


FS124_P24_AskGMFA_FS 17/06/2011 08:42 Page 24

advIce

Hey gmfa…

I’ve got a problem! The team at GMFA answer questions from their website that you may be too shy to ask in the flesh... Will soap make toys safe?

Help, I can’t get off!

Can sex toys be washed with hot water and soap to remove STIs or any other disease? Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are remarkably sensitive to soap and water. Washing sex toys will go a long way to prevent the spread of STIs – but it may not be 100 percent effective. Ideally, toys should not be passed between partners, or they should be covered with a condom which should be changed in between partners to improve the protection.

What could be wrong with me if I can't get off receiving oral sex? There’s nothing wrong with you. Some people just can't have an orgasm with oral sex. It can be that you need more stimulation or just don't find it appealing. You know what they say, "different strokes for different folks". Anyway, if it bothers you, you can have your partner stimulate you with his hand and mouth which may enable you to have an orgasm that way. If that doesn’t work, have him try getting you off with his hand and then when you are about to cum he can finish you off with his mouth. That can train you to be able to get off easier in the future. Although it’s less risky than getting fucked, HIV can be transmitted by oral sex so it’s safer not to cum in his mouth.

Q

Is he tearing me apart? Several times during anal sex with my boyfriend, I felt pains which felt like there might be a tear. But the pain soon diminished as the sex went on. There was also no bleeding. Does the pain mean there might be a real muscle tear? The pain is probably not from a tear but just from the muscle not being relaxed during insertion of your boyfriend's cock. Actual tears continue to hurt and there is usually blood. If you have this problem often, your boyfriend needs to take it slower. You can also try sitting down on him to control the penetration. You will feel it start to hurt from the muscle tightening and just stay there. Within 30 to 60 seconds the muscle will loosen and you can sit the rest of the way down. Move up and down a few times and then go to whatever position you want, because by then the muscle is relaxed and there’s no problem. Also, when you are trying to get your boyfriend inside don't touch your cock. There is a reflex from your penis to your anus that tightens the muscles. Once he's inside you can certainly touch it all you want.

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… fucking Most gay men who have HIV caught it from fucking without condoms. As far as gay sex goes, getting fucked without a condom and your partner cumming inside you is the riskiest thing you can do. Besides HIV you can catch many other sexually transmitted infections when fucking without condoms. So using condoms is the best way to protect yourself against HIV and other STIs.


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


FS124_P26-27_Sortit_FS 17/06/2011 08:45 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…

I think my drink was spiked Q and now I could have HIV…

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

26 |

Dear Damien I don’t want you to feel bad about yourself but these things happen all too often. You don’t know how many of my mates have had the same thing happen to them so I know how you are feeling. What I recommend you do is get a HIV test and report it to the police. I also recommend you get some counseling. Guy from Belfast

A

Dear Damien Dude, this is not good. I totally feel for you. Everyone likes a bit of fun from time to time but for this to happen, it must feel like your whole world has fallen apart. First man you must get checked out. If he drugged you then had sex with you he has committed a crime and it must be reported. He will only do it again. It’s times like this that we have to think to

A


FS124_P26-27_Sortit_FS 17/06/2011 08:45 Page 27

“You needtotake responsibilityfor yourownactions whenitcomesto sexmixedwith alcoholand drugs.”

ourselves that not everyone out there is a nice person. There are some arseholes. Second, I think you need to get checked for HIV but it might be too soon for it to show up in your body. Go to your local GUM clinic and see what they say. Nobody wants to become positive but it’s better knowing than not knowing. Steve via email

Dear Damien I guess the first thing I would say is chances are you weren’t drugged, you just drank way too much alcohol. I have heard so many guys say “oh I must have been drugged” and then you find out they had ten pints and three sambuca shots before they “got drugged”. That or they reckon someone else drugged them, even though they had taken enough MDMA or pills to kill a horse. I am not saying it never happens, but you need to take responsibility for your own actions when it comes to sex mixed with alcohol and drugs and not try to blame it on someone else. Dick via email

A

Dear Damien I have to say a similar thing happened to me. I got really drunk and woke up the next morning not knowing if I had bareback sex, and unfortunately I was diagnosed as HIV-positive a few months later. But I have to say as bad as it was, getting tested was the best thing I could do. Yes it’s not really great to have to take medication every day for the rest of my life but I can live with it. I highly recommend you get yourself tested and see. If you do test HIV-positive, then you can get a plan of action together and if you don’t, well then you know and you can hopefully learn from your mistake. Huong via email

A

A counsellor’s opinion… Sona Barbosa, Counsellor Team Leader for the GMI Partnerships says: Dear Damien First of all you need to remember you did nothing wrong and you should not judge yourself too harshly and feel embarrassed. A new survey has found that one in five gay men believe themselves to have been the victim of drink spiking, with many subsequently suffering attacks as a result. In the future it might be important to be more aware and protect yourself from risky situations, not only meeting people online but also when out clubbing and socialising. Make sure you don’t leave your drink unattended. If you need to go somewhere without your drink, make sure you get someone you trust to watch it until you get back and, if possible, never let someone you don’t know buy you a drink. Secondly, it is completely understandable that the prospect of being diagnosed HIV-positive can feel like a devastating life event to have to deal with. However it is not something you need to cope with on your own. Being anxious or fearful of having HIV and all that it entails is perfectly natural. Fear and anxiety are just a couple of many emotions you will inevitably feel, and both you will have to manage. How you respond to the feelings you will experience is a personal thing but it is not something that has to be done alone. There are many services that offer support and counselling and I would advise you to speak to a counsellor and/or a sexual health adviser before having the test.

A

“Anew surveyhas foundthatone infivegaymen believethemselves tohavebeenthe victimofdrink spiking”

If you don’t have the test and you are HIV-positive, you may go for years without a sign of any problems, but eventually they will come. Waiting will have diminished your chances of effective treatment. Also by waiting you are choosing to live in permanent anxiety, uncertainty and fear, which in the long term can be a lot harder to cope with. By testing now you can be in charge of your life and live a lot longer. If you are negative you can stay that way, and if you are HIV-positive you can get the appropriate medical treatment you need.

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… I can’t have safer sex without losing my erection. I’m 26 years old and often I can’t manage to keep an erection. When I am having sex with someone and they want me to fuck them, by the time we stop and put on the condom my erection often goes or it goes while I am fucking them. If I don’t stop to use condoms it can work a lot better. This has led me to having unprotected sex many times and I don’t know if my partners were HIV-positive. They said they weren’t but you never know. I am worried that unless I can fix this erection problem I will continue not to use condoms and eventually become HIV-positive. Please help. Ravi from Bradford

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

|27


FS124_P28-29_listings MEA_FS 17/06/2011 08:53 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

lLGBT South Staffordshire: Free service for the LGBT community. P: 01543 411 413, www.staffordshirebuddies.co.uk. Text: LGBT + message to 07707 834 024

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 124 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.


FS124_P28-29_listings MEA_FS 17/06/2011 08:53 Page 29

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

and 4th Monday of the month. Phone: (01332) 207704, e-mail: info@gayderbyshire.co.uk or www.gayderbyshire.co.uk.

norfoLk

norfoLk

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

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.

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.

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.

exploring their sexuality. Meets every Tuesday evening in a safe, discreet venue in Norwich. Phone: 01603 219299 or email: taketimeout@hotmail.com.

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): Support and social group for men who are married or in a relationship with a woman. Meets alternative Thursdays 7-9.30pm Ph: 01543 411 413. Text: MMG +message to 07707 834 024.

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

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

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

LeiCester lLeicester GUM Ph: 0116 258 5208

nottingham

LoughBorough

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.

lLoughborough GUM Phone: 01509 568 888

staffordshire

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

lSPACE LGBT: a group for people aged 13 to 21 who are LGBT or questioning their sexuality. Phone: 01543 411 413, Text: SPACE + message to 07707 834 024.teLford and Wr 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

Youth groups

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

Birmingham

CannoCk

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

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

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

redditCh

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

Coventry

Coventry

Coventry

teLford

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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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FS124_P30_Last Chance_FS 17/06/2011 08:50 Page 30

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