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