OUT has been providing health services since 1994 with the start of the telephone counselling and information line. In 1997, the organisation started doing HIV work which has increased over the years with the clinic starting in 2007.
A significant project was the PRISM Project. PRISM is an acronym for ‘Prevention and Research Initiative for Sexual Minorities’. The PRISM project formed part of a collaborative effort between the Schorer Foundation (based in the Netherlands) and 16 organisations in the global south (including Southern Africa, Central and South America). The aim of the project was to increase the quantity and quality of HIV/STI prevention for men-who-have-sex-with-men (MSM) and women-who-have-sex-with-women (WSW).
Towards the end of 2007 OUT conducted a needs assessment on resourced and under-resourced lesbian women as well as resourced gay men. Three key areas for intervention were identified:
- Erroneous Risk Perception;
- Internalised Homo-negativity; and
- Negative Peer Norms.
Keeping these three key areas in mind OUT developed an intervention strategy to address the needs of lesbian women and gay men in Tshwane. The intervention strategy (programmes) commenced during 2008. The Prism Project concluded in December 2011. Many of these programmes now continue under the Bridging the Gaps programme.