Love is… Celebrating Sexual Health week in style

The Rainbow Project, Positive Life, FPA and Brook NI have come together to celebrate Sexual Health and Love in style with a whole series of events this Sexual Health Week (11-15 February 2013).

 

The Rainbow Project has launched its ‘Love is’ campaign by handing out Valentine’s Cards to encourage regular HIV and Syphilis testing for Gay and Bisexual men who remain most at risk of contracting HIV in the UK. James Copeland, Sexual Health Development Officer for The Rainbow Project, said ‘currently one in four Gay and Bisexual men with HIV do not know. For us Love is knowing your Sexual Health status. Gay and bisexual men need to take responsible decisions about their Sexual Health and regular testing, at least once a year, is a big part of this. Make a decision today. Book in for a free rapid HIV and Syphilis test at The Rainbow Project’s offices in Belfast and Foyle’.

 

Brook NI have been gearing up to celebrate Sexual Health week in style at Queen’s University Student’s Union. Mary Crawford, Director of Brook NI, said ‘we are working alongside QUB’s SAFE group (Sexual Health Awareness for All) to hand out over 400 safer sex information packs to students across the university campus’.

 

FPA, the Family Planning Association, is also celebrating Sexual Health week by asking its young people under 17 in Belfast and Derry to tell us what they think Love is…? The young people told us Love is ‘being cuddled if you’re feeling sick’, ‘forgiveness and communication’, ‘having a baby together’ and of course ‘kisses, cuddles, romance and finally sex’.

 

Positive Life is also working to raise  awareness of HIV this week and in oncoming years by releasing their four year strategy, alongside Minister of Health Edwin Poots and MLA Anna Lo, entitled ‘Building a Positive Future’ at Stormont’s Long Gallery yesterday. Danny McQuillan, Director of Positive Life, said ‘we are aiming to challenge perceptions, educate the public and show that people can live and will live well with HIV. As figures of HIV diagnoses continue to rise, we will continue to work collaboratively with all involved in the Sexual Health field’

The Rainbow Project supports Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and/or Transgender people and their families in Northern Ireland and provides Rapid HIV and Syphilis testing in Belfast, Foyle, Strabane and Newry. For more information contact James on james@rainbow-project.org or call 028 90319030

Positive Life supports people living with and affected by HIV in Northern Ireland and runs a confidential helpline for information, advice and support on HIV and Sexual Health. If you have any questions contact Gemma on gemma@positivelifeni.com or call 028 90249268

FPA is a sexual health charity which has centres throughout the UK and seeks to establish a society in which everyone has positive, informed and non-judgemental attitudes to sex and relationships; where everyone can make informed choices about sex, relationships and reproduction so that they can enjoy sexual health free from prejudice or harm. For more information contact Rebecca on rebeccaf@fpa.org.uk  or call 020 7608 5265.
Brook NI s the UK’s leading provider of sexual health services and advice for young people under the age of 25 and provides free and confidential sexual health information, contraception, pregnancy testing, advice and counselling, testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections. For more information contact mary.crawford@brook.org.uk or call 028 90328866

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PHA statistics regarding Gay and Bisexual men are at most risk of living with HIV in the UK can be found at http://www.publichealth.hscni.net/sites/default/files/HIV_and_STI_Report_12_2011.pdf

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