Servicing the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community

OUT provides direct health services to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community, MSM, sex workers, and injecting drug users, including HIV testing, counselling, treatment and general lifestyle advice and support.

OUT has been in existence for more than 21 years and is dedicated to the building of healthy and empowered LGBT communities in South Africa and internationally, while reducing hetrosexism and homophobia in society.

Reversal of HIV epidemic among gay and bisexual men in UK

HIV diagnoses among gay and bisexual men dropped further, by 21%, with this decline particularly focused in parts of London.

Dr Valerie Delpech, head of HIV surveillance at Public Health England, welcomed the news. “It is the first time since the beginning of the HIV epidemic in the 1980s that we have observed a decline in new HIV diagnoses among gay and bisexual men,” she said.

In part, the decrease has been linked to the use of PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis), a daily pill that prevents HIV negative individuals from becoming infected, as well as faster treatment.

“Today’s figures show we’ve started something – we’re beginning to see the reversal of the HIV epidemic in some communities in the UK,” commented Ian Green, Chief Executive of Terrence Higgins Trust, the UK HIV charity.

“HIV diagnoses in gay and bisexual men, one of the groups most affected, are declining; showing what can be achieved when we utilise all the weapons in our arsenal against HIV transmission. This includes access to condoms, testing, PrEP and diagnosing and treating people as early as possible so they can become uninfectious.”

Green said, however, that this is no time for complacency. The new statistics also show that 42% of people with HIV were still being diagnosed late; with heterosexual men and individuals aged over 50 the most likely to experience late diagnosis.

“We must keep this momentum going so we can see the same progress in other communities and bring the epidemic to an end,” he said.

Green also called on the government to start it’s long awaited PrEP trial in England, where it is only available privately through doctors or online importing. In Scotland PrEP is available on the National Health Service, and in Wales as part of a large scale pilot.

“The England PrEP trial, which will protect 10,000 people in England at risk of HIV, has still not yet started – we have now been promised the start of the trial by the end of October. This timeline cannot be pushed back further,” he said.

In South Africa, PrEP is available for MSM for free in Pretoria (OUT’s TEN81 clinic) and Johannesburg and Cape Town (Health4Men). It can also be accessed through private GPs.

Services
Have you been threatened, hit, raped or had your property damaged or stolen because you are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or intersex (LGBTI)? Then you have been a victim of a hate crime.
OUT offers exciting training to mainstream service providers and other interested parties. The training assists individuals to understand themselves as sexual beings.
Currently OUT distributes safer sex packs to a range of venues in Tshwane that are utilised by gay men and lesbian women. These packs also include responsible sex messaging, appropriate barrier methods and lube.
OUT's Engage Men’s Health project offers free and confidential sexual health services to gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (MSM).