Men Only Tayside sexual health advice and information service launched by NHS Tayside

A new advice and information service for gay and bisexual men has been launched by NHS Tayside.

Gay and bisexual men are still the highest risk group for acquiring HIV and other serious STIs. The group makes up the largest number and proportion of people diagnosed with HIV and also living in Scotland.

The new Men Only Tayside service and website aims to offer advice and information for gay and bisexual men.

NHS Tayside and the Terrence Higgins Trust has carried out recent research which has revealed that there is a continuing low level of awareness amongst gay and bisexual men in Tayside about HIV and the risks of unsafe sex.  This low level of awareness contributes to their vulnerability to acquiring the infection.

NHS Tayside’s executive lead for Sexual Health and Blood Borne Virus Ann Eriksen said: “Many men told us that they still experience homophobia and discrimination in their everyday lives and we know from research that this can be one of the things that stop men accessing testing and therefore treatment.

“We are committed to making sure that our services are caring, inclusive and designed to meet the needs of everyone in our community, which is why we have worked alongside local men in the planning of the Men Only Tayside service.

“To complement what we are doing to improve HIV prevention and services for gay and bisexual men, NHS Tayside is launching a year-long poster campaign which will highlight how men can take action themselves to protect their health.

“The series of bus adverts starts with a simple message about inclusion, we’re all the same, we’re all different. We hope that along with the other services and support that are being put in place it will help raise awareness and reduce the number of undiagnosed infections in our local population.”

Clive King, a health promotion specialist at Terrence Higgins Trust Scotland, said: “We were delighted to assist NHS Tayside in this important piece of work. Our research highlighted several areas of concern among local gay men, and the health board has been swift to act on our recommendations.

“The Men Only Tayside website is a tremendous resource and we are looking forward to promoting the MOT service throughout Tayside in the coming months.”

Find out more at www.menonlytayside.com

Youtube clip tells Datepositive member’s story

This Youtube video was produced by a company for TrueTube and then posted on Youtube.com. It tells the story of a women who is a member of datepositive.net and how she got herpes from her boyfriend. It’s a sad story, and at the same time a warning about the risk of getting herpes when someone is asymtomatic (ie not showing symptoms) – as was the case with this woman’s former boyfriend.

The good news is that the woman featured met new friends on datepositive.net and is now in a relationship.

Risks of trichomonas; datepositive.net member gets advice from Dr Gerlis

Q. It took me a long time to realise something was wrong and after getting tested I learned I had trich.

Are there risks because it was left untreated for so long?

A. Trichomonas is easily treated and does not cause long term damage – there should be no problem arising from the delay in treatment. - Dr. Laurence Gerlis.

Best type of condom for protection against an STD?

Q. Which is the best kind of condom? Is it latex or polyurethane?  Do they protect against STDs? A datepositive.net member.

A. It is not the type of condom but the way it is used that matters.  Properly used, condoms significantly reduce the transmission of STDs.

However, there are skin contacts outside the condom area and I have seen Herpes, HPV and mollluscum transmitted in this way despite condom use.

Improper use of condoms include:  not using it until penetration (ie some unprotected sex before), not using it till orgasm, condom breaking, condom slipping off, infection creeping around the sides of a condom.  So you are still at risk even with a condom. - Dr. Laurence Gerlis.

HSV2 & Herpes transmission risk while asymptomatic

Q. Can a person get hsv2 from someone who has it but has no symptoms? - A Datepositive.net member.

A. Yes. You can shed virus between attacks, and women in particular may have non-visible internal lesions.

This is called Asymptomatic Transmission. Herpes simplex infections are often spread by people who don’t know they are infected. These people may have symptoms so mild they don’t notice them at all or else don’t recognize them as herpes. Continue reading