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.

Australian PrEP trial leads to unprecedented reductions in HIV transmission

These globally unprecedented reductions provide strong evidence to support the large-scale, targeted provision of PrEP to prevent HIV transmission.

The new research, funded by NSW Health, reports the findings from the NSW PrEP trial (called EPICNSW), which was launched in March 2016. When taken daily, PrEP prevents HIV negative people from acquiring the virus. The EPIC-NSW trial is the first study globally to measure the impact of PrEP on reducing HIV in a large population.

Professor Andrew Grulich from the Kirby Institute at UNSW Sydney led the trial. “The speed of the decline we’ve seen in new HIV infections in gay and bisexual men is a world first. In the year following the trial, state-wide new HIV infections in this population decreased by one third, from 149 infections in the 12 months prior, to 102 in the 12 months after. These numbers are the lowest on record since HIV surveillance began in 1985,” said Professor Grulich. “Our research tells us that these reductions are a result of PrEP, implemented on a background of high and increasing HIV testing and treatment rates.”

The declines were highest among Australian-born gay and bisexual men (48.7%) and gay and bisexual men living in the ‘gay suburbs’ of Sydney (51.8%). “These communities had the highest uptake of PrEP, and in these populations, new HIV infections have halved since the trial began,” said Professor Grulich.

“However, we did not see the same reductions across the board. Reductions were lower in non-English speaking immigrants with a smaller 21% decline among those born in Asia. We need to improve education and promote access to PrEP, particularly amongst culturally and linguistically diverse men who have sex with men, and those outside the gay neighbourhoods of Sydney.”

NSW was the first state in Australia to trial PrEP at a large scale. Professor Grulich credits the success of EPIC-NSW to a collaborative approach and the commitment of multiple partners across clinics, community and researchers, as well as leadership from the NSW government. Dr Kerry Chant, the NSW Chief Health Officer also highlighted the importance of collaboration.

“NSW has a long history of successful partnerships in HIV prevention. It’s these partnerships that have led to the success of EPIC-NSW and serve as a blueprint for other states and countries aiming to eliminate HIV transmission,” said Dr Chant. 

“The results from EPIC-NSW provide an important evidence-base to inform our response to HIV globally,” added Professor Grulich. “We now know that PrEP implemented quickly, at a large scale, and targeted to high-risk populations can help turn the HIV epidemic around.”

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).