February 2007

Gay men and insurance

The Association of British Insurers has produced a Consumer Guide for gay men on HIV and life insurance. Recognising that many gay men applying for insurance feel they have been treated unfairly after being asked about their sexuality, the new guidance makes clear what insurers are able to ask and discusses other issues relevant to gay men. Read the guide at the ABI website.

Stonewall lists best employers for LGBT people

The third annual Stonewall Workplace Equality Index, which lists the top employers for gay people, has revealed that companies and organisations across the country are making progress in encouraging and supporting their gay staff. To qualify as one of the 100 best UK employers in 2007, bosses had to demonstrate significantly higher standards of good practice in a wide range of areas. The top ten employers are:

  1. IBM
  2. Staffordshire Police
  3. Greater London Authority
  4. Manchester City Council
  5. Nacro
  6. Lloyds TSB
  7. Brighton and Hove City Council
  8. Goldman Sachs
  9. KPMG
  10. Transport for London

Read the full story and see the full list at Pink News

Gay teens have sex earlier

Fifty-eight per cent of gay teens have sex before the legal age of 16 and 23 per cent have sex at 13 years old or younger according to the annual Sex Life survey carried out by gay teen website The survey failed to point out that all teenages in Britain have alwyas had sex at an early age. Story from Positive Nation

STIs on the rise

Syphilis is on the increase in the UK with new cases rising 23 per cent, from 2,282 in 2004 to 2,810 in 2005. The Health Protection Agency said the number of detected syphilis cases were probably the tip of the iceberg. If left untreated, syphilis can cause organ failure, mental illness and death. New cases of gonorrhoea declined by 13 per cent but new diagnoses of all sexually transmitted infections in Britain were up.

Story from Positive Nation

Record numbers with HIV now in the UK

An estimated 63,500 adults are now living with HIV in the UK and around 21,000 of these remain unaware of their infection. And with a further 1,650 diagnoses in adults over 60 and another 800 in children under 15, the true figure is actually closer to 66,000.

The Health Protection Agency (HPA) released the new HIV figures on World Aids Day in a report called A Complex Picture, showing over 7,450 new cases of HIV had been diagnosed in 2005.

Read the full story at Positive Nation

40 million now living with HIV worldwide

More than 39.5 million people worldwide are living with HIV, and the global HIV pandemic shows little sign of abating, according to the latest UNAIDS/WHO report.

Of the total, 4.3 million of these were infected last year – an increase of 400,000 on 2004.

Read the full story at Positive Nation

30,000 have now said "I do"

Last year, 15,672 same-sex couples entered civil partnerships in the first nine months from their introduction in the UK, according to figures released by the Office of National Statistics. The Government's Women and Equality Unit had estimated that between 5,500 and 11,000 couples would register by 2010.

A quarter of all CPs took place in London, with around two-thirds of the total being male couples.

December saw the first anniversary for the first gay couples who got hitched. It was also the earliest any could be separated, but the first UK gay couple to file for dissolution -- Darryl Bullock and Mark Godfrey -- decided to postpone proceedings. Bullock informed his solicitor, "I don't want to be the face in the Guinness Book of Records".

Master of the Queen's Music, Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, has announced his intention to form a CP with his partner, Colin Parkinson, though there was some confusion as to whether the registrar on Sanday, the remote Orkney island where they live, could perform CPs.

This year's Who's Who is listing CPs for the first time. Couples recognised include actor and writer Sir Antony Sher and his partner, the theatre director Greg Doran.

Story from Gay Times -

Young entrepreneur invites other teens to join network

A young coventry entrepreneur is counting down to the launch of a brand new social networking website aimed at young gay men.

The service will be called Guys Connected and it will be the first social network for gay men to allow 16-year olds to sign up.

The creator of the service, Calum Brannan, aged 18, feels strongly about making the gay community a more accessible reality for younger people.

Guys Connected is all about making connections, keeping connections and integrating into the gay community," said Brannan. "One of the main reasons I would say young people do not get on with mainstream networks is the age restrictions imposed -- this was definitely an issue for me not so long back."

Brannan first became interested in websites on leaving school when he created the network site PPLParty, a site with over 350,000 members, at the age of just 17.

Guys Connected has been created specifically for 16 to 24 year olds and will enable users to meet new and existing friends online as well as accessing a scene guide and other services. Other features included will allow users to upload unlimited amounts of photographs free of charge as well as the ability to tailor the site to fit each user's mood.

Guys Connected will also be encouraging venues across the country to register. It will also be looking into the possibility of holding alcohol free parties allowing young gay men under the age of 18 to meet and make friends in a safe place.

Brannan is aware of teh potential of the site to be misused and so the team behind the site already includes a small number of helpdesk staff who will monitor complaints of inappropriate material and review uploaded content.

The site will launch at the end of January at

Visiting a Sexual Health Clinic

We have added a new guide which describes what you can expect when visiting a sexual health (GUM) clinic. Click here to see the guide.