The latest data from the Health Protection Surveillance Centre indicates that gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men accounted for 45.9% of HIV diagnoses in the first half of 2014. Worryingly the age range of those most at risk in recent years of contracting HIV is getting younger.
Following a successful pilot of the new peer led and developed programme this past autumn the ‘In the Know’ programme will be rolled out with three courses to be offered in 2015. The programme works in partnership with young adult men to find out exactly what their sexual health needs are, and then responds in culturally and age appropriate ways. The programme equips gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men with all the information they need in relation to sexual health and healthy relationships.
Speaking yesterday at the World AIDS Day event in the Mansion House in Dublin, David Carroll, Executive Director with BeLonG To said:
“A whole new generation of young gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men need messages tailored to their generation and lived experiences. BeLonG To as the national organisation for LGBT young people is uniquely placed to work with the target group and our new peer led programme ‘In the Know’, is a significant milestone on the journey of “Getting to Zero”.
The theme for this year’s World AIDS Day was “Getting to Zero” – Zero New HIV Infections, Zero Discrimination and Zero AIDS-related deaths was highlighted at an event hosted by the Lord Mayor of Dublin featuring a number of young men from BeLonG To speaking.
A host of organisations led by Dublin City Council and including Positive Now, Dublin AIDS Alliance, BeLonG To, Dóchas, Concern, ACET, DWI, the HSE’s Gay Men’s Health Service and the Crisis Pregnancy Agency partnered together to mark World AIDS Day at the Mansion House which was turned ‘red’ as a show of support for those affected by HIV/ AIDS during the event.
The ‘In the Know’ programme has been made possible through funding from the National Lottery administered by the Dept. of Health.
For more information on BeLongTo Youth Services, click HERE
For more information on the In The Know programme, click HERE