A belated thank you to the Joiner’s Arms who supported our HIV prevention work by allowing us to run HIV testing at the venue in co-operation with Positive East the Sunday before last. The event was a great success and we achieved a total of 11 HIV tests while we were there. We would also to thank our GMI volunteers and the Positive East volunteers as well as the staff who came along for the general running of the event and, in particular, for handing out hundreds of flyers in the flower market, the local gay bars and in the area around the Joiners Arms.
The iconic Joiners Arms, Shoreditch
As well as testing and handing out sexual health leaflets we also managed to have sexual health chats with men that were at the Joiners Arms and the surrounding area. This is an integral part of the HIV prevention work we do and enables us to inform men about sexual health risk, testing and HIV/STI transmission as well as answering any questions that the men we work with might have about the sex they are having. Research shows (see here for one study) the importance of one-to-one intervention, such as the GMI sexual health conversations, as an effective way to reduce sexual risk taking and to increase knowledge in areas such as testing and transmission. For example, one study based in 8 US cities showed that gay and bisexual men demonstrated behavioural changes in the year following the completion of a sexual health promotion survey in bars and clubs. In the year following the survey self-reported unprotected anal sex was lower, condom use was higher and the number of condoms taken from dispensers across the cities increased (See here ).
For these reasons our GMI healthrainers are out and about across London in venues such as the Joiners Arms doing testing, sexual health surveys and having sexual health promotion-focused chats with gay and bisexual men. Don’t miss your chance to see us at a venue near you! For a full list of locations we work at and our calendar for the month ahead please see the following link.