Aids groups 'not providing safe sex messages for gays'

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The Independent Online
THREE-QUARTERS of Aids and HIV organisations, the majority funded by the NHS or local authorities, are failing to provide safe sex messages for homosexual men, writes Celia Hall.

A report published yesterday, based on a survey of 226 agencies, says there was a marked lack of prevention initiatives for local homosexual communities.

Researchers found that 169 organisations were giving no warning to homosexual men about risks of spreading the disease, and 95 per cent of the agencies devoted only limited time and money to the homosexual community.

The survey, commissioned jointly by North West Thames Regional Health Authority and several Aids groups and charities, asked the agencies why their projects omitted to target homosexual men. Fourteen said they believed there were none in their district; 16 said there was 'managerial opposition' to such projects; 41 said they did not know how to contact homosexual men. One district co-ordinator said: 'We have no homosexual community here; you might try district 'X', they have a theatre'.

HIV Prevention for Gay Men, A Survey of Initiatives in the UK; North West Thames Regional Health Authority; pounds 4.