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.

The HarmLess Project

HARMless logo red blue2

HarmLess, a project of OUT LGBT Well-being, provides a core package of evidence-based HIV prevention and harm reduction services to people who inject drugs (PWID) in Pretoria (Tshwane).

The HarmLess Project is located in Hatfield and makes use of OUT’s TEN81 Clinic, which offers free sexual health and HIV services to key population groups, including PWID.

Why is HarmLess needed?

Drug use plays a substantial role in the growth of the South African HIV epidemic and PWID are at disproportionately higher risk for HIV infection and onward transmission compared to the general population.

The South African National Strategic Plan on HIV, STIs and TB (2017-2022) includes specific objectives to reduce HIV infections among people who use drugs (PWUD).

Other national drug related policies (notably the Central Drug Authority’s National Drug Master Plan and the National Department of Health’s (NDOH) Mini Drug Master Plan) highlight the need for interventions for HIV prevention and harm reduction for PWID where evidence supports this need.

What does HarmLess do?

The HarmLess Project offers a core package of services. These are endorsed by: PEPFAR, WHO, UNAIDS, UNODC, the UN General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council, the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs, the UNAIDS Programme Coordinating Board and the Global Fund. The following services are offered in Pretoria:

  • Peer based outreach;
  • A mobile unit that goes out to service clients;
  • Needle and syringe distribution, collection and disposal;
  • HIV counselling and testing;
  • Referral for antiretroviral therapy and HIV care and support;
  • Prevention of, screening, treatment and/or referral for treatment of STIs;
  • Condom and lubricant distribution;
  • Targeted information, education and communication for PWID and their sexual partners;
  • Prevention, screening and referral for diagnosis and treatment of TB;
  • Referral for drug use disorder treatment and Opioid substitution therapy (OST) therapy where these services exist;
  • Prevention, screening and testing for hepatitis B and C (where funding allows);
  • The HarmLess Project hopes to add OST to the core package of services. Currently the project is not able to support OST medication, but is exploring financial options.

For more information, contact HarmLess Program Manager Nelson Medeiros on medeirosn@out.org.za or 012 430 3272.

step up staff

The HarmLess Team

 


HarmLess is a project of OUT LGBT Well-being and is funded by CDC (PEPFAR), through the Foundation for Professional Development (FPD), and Mainline.

Services
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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).