January 2010

Holocaust Memorial Day, 27th January 2010

Sixty-five years ago, on the 27th January 1945, Allied Forces found and entered the horrors of Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp.

What happened there and at all other Concentration Camps that were run by the Nazi Party are well documented, including documentaries, films and books.

Each year on the anniversary of the discovery of Auschwitz-Birkenau, events are held all over the world to remember those who lost their lives in these camps.

Men's Sexual Health will be attending many of these events throughout Wiltshire and Swindon, some are open to the public, and some are run specifically by organisations for their staff.

The largest public event this year will be taking place at Salisbury Guildhall, starting at 7pm on Wednesday 27th January 2010. This event has been organised by Salisbury Coalition Against Racism (SCAR) and is open to anyone who wishes to attend.

It will be a time to respectfully reflect and remember all those that died, reading will take place and candles will be lit, by representatives of all the key groups that were affected, including representatives from Disabled people, Gypsies, Black people, Polish people, Jewish People, LGBT people, Jehovah Witnesses, Trade Unionist people and other victim groups.

If you would like to attend, please feel free to join us, and others, in the remembrance.

Further information on Holocaust Memorial Day can be found at the Legacy of Hope website.

Ignorance and indifference risks spread of chlamydia

For some time now Men's Sexual Health have been aware that a large percentage of young people are avoiding having a Chlamydia test, because they do not understand how simple it is, or are concerned about confidentiality. This has just been echoed in a recent Department of Health report, which indicates as many as 30% of young people don't get tested as they are either embarrassed or frightened by the test. Recent national studies which are echoed in Wiltshire, Swindon, Bath and North East Somerset show a significant rise in the numbers of young people being diagnosed with this condition, yet it is one of the easiest infections to detect and treat.

Of greatest concern is that a young person may have the infection, but not know, in fact upwards of 50% of young men and upwards of 70% of young women will not show any symptoms; couple this with those who are to frightened or embarrassed, then you have the potential for a continued rise in numbers of those infected.

Chlamydia is a silent infection that can have serious consequences. Left untreated, Chlamydia can cause many chronic conditions and in the worst case lead to permanent infertility.

Men's Sexual Health continues to offer a very discrete postal testing and results service for men and women under the age of 25, which can be used as an alternative to young people having to access their GP or having to attend a Specialist Clinic. This service is free of charge, and all that is required is a small urine sample.

"We already have a large number of young people accessing this service, purely because it is discrete; they like the fact that no other person will know of the young person having taken the test, or the results from the test [including us] without the young person being fully aware."

After asking Men's Sexual Health for a test kit, the young person sends the competed sample back to the test laboratory in a special prepaid envelope, and should Chlamydia be found, then arrangements can be made for the young person to collect a very short course of antibiotics, which will remove the infection. In most instances the treatment consists two tablets.

Further information on Chlamydia can be found on our dedicated page.

Any young person who would like to take up this service can contact Men's Sexual Health either by email or by phone 01380 801951 and we will post a kit out to them.

Ban lifted on HIV positive people travelling to the US

US President Barack Obama announced last year that the ban on allowing people with HIV into the United States would be lifted; The ban has been in place since 1987.

The President signed the bill last Friday that also reauthorised federal funding for HIV related healthcare policy. The President said; "If we want to be the global leader in combating HIV, we need to act like it." This means that as of today Monday 4th January 2010 people living with HIV can now legally enter the US for holidays, business trips and potentially obtain full residency.

Only a handful of other countries, such as Yemen and Qatar, have similar policies on barring entry to HIV-positive individuals.

Obama signed the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Extension Act saying that it was a ban that was rooted in fear rather than fact. The Ryan White Act is named after a 13-year-old boy who contracted the virus via blood transfusion and helped educate Americans about the disease until his death in 1990 aged 18.

The act helps about 500,000 people, many on low incomes, by providing treatment and support.

If you or anyone you know is effected by HIV/AIDS and would like to talk to someone in complete confidence, please contact us on 01380 801951 or email us

Further information on HIV/AIDS can be found in our HIV and AIDS section.