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Advice Part 2

Be heard

Do you want to improve your communication skills, including negotiating the sex you want? GMFA, the gay men’s health charity, today announced the return of their popular workshop, ‘Power Talking’, which will be delivered by GMFA’s CHAPS partners in 11 cities across the UK early next year. This two-day course will give you the skills to communicate with clarity and confidence. It will help you talk to people about all areas of your life, including your sex life. It will give you the power to ask for what you want and say ‘no’ to things that you don’t want to do. Throughout February 2012, the ‘Power Talking’ course will be run by trainers from local gay charities and healthcare services across England,  including: The Terrence Higgins Trust, The Eddystone Trust, Healthy Gay Nottingham, The Lesbian and Gay Foundation, MESMAC North East, Healthy Gay Life, Yorkshire MESMAC, Trade, and GCHS.

The ‘Power Talking’ course takes place on two consecutive Saturdays from 10:30am to 5:30pm. BSL interpreters can be arranged prior to the course. The dates for 2012 are:

4th & 11th February –Bristol, Leeds, Manchester, Nottingham, Southampton

11th & 18th February – Brighton, London

18th & 25th February – Birmingham, Exeter, Leicester, Newcastle

The national ‘Power Talking’ course is funded by CHAPS.


Decriminalise Homosexuality throughout the World


  • More than 80 jurisdictions worldwide criminalise homosexuality
  • 42 of the 54 Commonwealth countries criminalise homosexuality
  • The result is perpetuated violence, misery and individuals put beyond protection of the law
  • Punishment for homosexual conduct includes life imprisonment and the death penalty
  • All of this breaches international law and ordinary constitutional protections for dignity, privacy and equality


The Human Dignity Trust (HDT) is a new organisation created by leading human rights lawyers Jonathan Cooper OBE and Tim Otty QC. Its patrons include former Chief Justices and Attorneys General from around the world, as well as a former Secretary General of the Commonwealth. It has a legal panel including some of the leading law firms in the world and the largest law firm in Africa. The HDT’s mission is simple – working at the invitation of, and in partnership with, local organisations or individuals in countries where homosexuality is criminalised, the HDT provides legal expertise and support to assist in constitutional and international litigation aimed at achieving the decriminalisation of homosexuality.

Human Dignity Trust

To book a place, go to GMFA national or call 020 7738 3712.



Lloydspharmacy has launched a new STI testing service designed specifically for gay and bisexual men. The launch of the Man2Man STI Test comes on the back of figures released earlier this summer by the UK Health Protection Agency (HPA), which show STI rates are on the increase for men who have sex with men (MSM).

Despite an overall decline in STIs diagnosed in England for the first time in 10 years, the HPA reported that gonorrhoea diagnoses in MSM increased by a third from 2009 to 2010 (3,379 to 4,503 diagnoses), chlamydia by 22 per cent from 4,084 to 4,975, and genital herpes by 19 per cent from 818 to 973.

The Man2Man STI testing kit is available on the Lloydspharmacy Online Doctor website in conjunction with the Millivres Prowler Group and includes a urine test for genital chlamydia and genital gonorrhoea, a rectal swab for chlamydia and gonorrhoea and a throat swab for gonorrhea.

Once ordered the test pack will be delivered by first class post. Patients simply collect the samples and post them back to the Online Doctor laboratory in the pre-paid pre-addressed packaging.   Test results are normally ready within two to three working days and will be completely confidential. Lloydspharmacy will not inform the user’s GP or anyone of results unless specifically asked to do so.  If patients test positive they will be given advice about the best treatment options available.

The testing kit costs £89.99.


Ditch the Label is a not-for-profit launched initially as a ‘’ profile in 2006. The popularity of the campaign exploded and within weeks, the page had attracted over 15,000 fans and was soon to be awarded a ‘MySpace Impact UK’ award for its’ positive contribution to the platform and the community.

Many appraised the sheer reach and constructive potential that the campaign had. At 16, founder Liam Hackett became the first minor in the UK to receive a business grant to progress his activities. With the funding, the campaign was able to kick start a new website, blog and its very own social network. Still promoting the same, powerful message as ever: “Difference is inevitable. Difference is positive. Difference is what makes you, you.”

It is this message that forms the infrastructure of Ditch the Label. The campaign is essentially a resource for those from minority groups that feel vulnerable and alone due to discrimination and bullying both in school, the workplace and general life. Typically aimed towards 15-21 year olds, the campaign still attracts a wide demographic and operates a panel of older, more experienced advisors to respond to worries and questions in an agony aunt styled blog and also on hand across the social network.



The website,, has been created by NAT in response to research that shows a lack of understanding among the British public about HIV and the site provides current and trustworthy information to address this.

It draws on the expertise of NAT’s partner in the project, Durex, who has an on-going commitment in the UK to improve sexual health and help raise awareness and understanding of HIV.

Ipsos MORI research commissioned by NAT earlier this year revealed that, overall; the general public’s knowledge about HIV is declining, with people unsure of routes of transmission, how to protect themselves and the reality of HIV in the UK today.

Deborah Jack, Chief Executive of NAT, comments: ‘It is extremely important for people to have access to current and trustworthy information so they know how to protect themselves and others from HIV infection. We also know there is a link between being aware of the facts and the attitude you hold towards people living with HIV, so this is also a way of breaking down stigma and prejudice. We asked Durex to help us with the website as they were able to bring so much to the partnership and we have worked successfully with them before. They have vast experience in consumer and digital campaigns on sexual health.’

NAT and Durex are also working together to deliver an educational resource for healthcare professionals that will help them to communicate with the general public about HIV. It will be launched on World AIDS Day (1st December).