November 2011

Wiltshires LGBT Youth Group 2BME has ended.

Due to current funding coming to an end and with no further funding being available, it is with much sadness to announce that the 2BME group has come to an end. I would like to thank those who came to group during its time, it was a pleasure to have met you all, I hope you enjoyed your time at the group as much as we did. Thank you to those who helped intially fund the group, and to those who helped support the group during its running, without you none of this would have been possible. If you are interested in attending another LGBT group, please contact Wiltshire Youth Service, or for those in Swindon, Out Of The Can or Pride Youth.

Gay and Grey?

Are you an older member of the LGBT community, if so we would like to hear from you. Swindon NHS would like to improve their services to the community and understand that the older LGBT community's voice isn't always heard so they would like to set up a focus group to hear what you have to say. All information you provide would be confidential and it gives your voice a real reason to be heard! If you would like to take part or find out more information please get in touch or leave a comment below.

Mouth Cancer Action Month

November is Mouth Cancer Action Month. Most people are aware of some of the risks factors that are associated with Oral cancer, such as Smoking, Alcohol and Poor Diet, but not many know Oral Sex is also a concern. Due to the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), transmitted via oral sex, is increasingly being linked to mouth cancer. Younger people are particularly at risk. A recent study in the USA has connected over 20,000 mouth cancer cases to HPV in the last five years. Experts suggest it may rival tobacco and alcohol as a key risk factor within 10 years, although some research indicates that people with mouth cancer caused by HPV may have a greater chance of survival. People with multiple sexual partners are more at risk.
HPV virus is not just an oral sex virus, it can be passed on via anal or vaginal intercourse, and is the main cause of Genital Warts and Cervical Cancer. And although there is national screening implimented in schools for girls to vaccinate against HPV, it is still important to go for regualr cervical smear tests. For men there is currently no implimented screening programme unless you go to your own GP or Gum Clinic. The safest way to protect against the HPV virus is barrier methods such as Condoms and Dams. Many couples will only use condoms or anal/vaginal sex, but it is just as important to use them when giving and recieveing oral sex and as you are probabaly aware condoms and dams come in a variety of flavours for this reason.
If you still have any concerns about HPV, mouth cancer or anything touched upon in this news item add a comment below, or visit our Q&A on the website or call us directly.

Anti-Bullying Week

Men's Sexual Health is this week supporting Anti-Bullying Week (Nov 14-18th). With the slogan ‘Stop and think – words can hurt’ this year’s campaign is focused on tackling verbal bullying. Young people at the ABA Youth Summit 2010 raised concerns about the negative use of language in schools and the wider community – expressions like ‘you’re so gay’ and words like ‘sket’ and ‘slag’. They saw this as a key indicator of bullying or a hostile environment. We know that derogatory language – words and expressions that are homophobic, racist, sexist or disabilist, that seek to demean particular groups and individuals are far too common in our schools, colleges and communities.
There are a variety of different ways you can get involved with ABW, visit the national website for more information and ideas

If you are a local organisation and would like training around homophobia then please get in touch as we have training packages available to you to train your staff team around such issue.

Domestic Abuse Awareness Week: 21-25 November 2011

Domestic Abuse takes many forms, from physical to verbal to emotional.  As part of Domestic Violence Awareness week, Men’s Sexual Health will be working in partnership with Swindon Domestic Violence Services and the Community Safety Partnership to highlight the issues that face victims of abuse and the services available to them. 

Domestic abuse is defined as ‘any incident of threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between two adults who are or have been intimate partners or family members, regardless of gender or sexuality.’   It can happen to anyone, in all kinds of relationships – heterosexual, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender. People experience domestic violence regardless of their social group, age, class, lifestyle, disability or sexuality. It can begin at any time – in a new relationship or after many years together.  Unfortunately, fear and intimidation that is inherent in this kind of relationship often means that victims will suffer in silence for years.  Between April 2010 and March 2011 there were 4,532 domestic abuse incidents reported to Wiltshire Police.

Male Domestic Violence Statistics:

·          The police receive a 999 call every three minutes from a male victim

·         1 in 6 men will experience Domestic Violence in their life

·         Every 3rd victim of Domestic Violence is a man

·         Domestic Violence equates to approx 25% of all reported violent crimes 

·         9% of all reported violent crimes are Domestic Violence cases involving male victims

·         Approximately 4 million men are affected every year by domestic violence

·         Practically the same percentage of men as women is victims of severe acts of Domestic Violence.

There is help and support.

In addition to a dedicated Domestic Abuse Unit, the Swindon Police are now able to issue Domestic Violence Protection Orders (DVPOs), as part of a year long pilot by the Home Office.  The DVPO pilot is designed to protect victims in the short term and give them the breathing space to consider their next steps, including pursuing longer term protection through an application for a civil injunction. 

A police officer who responds to a domestic abuse incident can apply to a superintendent for a Domestic Violence Protection Notice (DVPN) when there is not enough evidence to bring a criminal charge, but there is concern that someone is at risk.

A DVPN will only be authorised if a superintendent is satisfied that a victim has suffered violence or is at risk. Once a DVPN is issued it must be brought before magistrates within 48 hours.

Magistrates must be satisfied, before approving a police request for a DVPO, that “on the balance of probabilities”, the perpetrator has used violence, or the threat of violence, against the victim.

DVPOs can require the perpetrator not to contact the victim or return to the victim’s address for a minimum of 14 days and maximum of 28. Breaching a DVPO can lead to a fine with costs or jail.

For more information, the Community Safety Partnership  has online leaflets about warning signs and contact numbers.

If you’d like to talk to us about these issues, please ring:  01793 250951

Read more about Swindon's awareness raising activities here.

World Aids Day December 1st 2011

This Thursday will be the annual World Aids Day December 1st and this year Men’s Sexual Health has teamed up with Swindon Tesco. The team will be spending the day at Tesco Extra, Ocotal Way, with a big display offering a large selection of posters, leaflets and selling red ribbons to those who would like to show there support to the cause. The team will be on hand to offer advice on a range of sexual health issues and providing guidance on reducing risk of HIV transmission.

They will be continuing to promote last year’s successful campaign of ‘Respect the Ribbon, Wear a Condom’  at other venues across Swindon, such as the colleges and popular LGBT friendly venues, Pink Rooms & The Mailcoach.

Globally, the number of new HIV infections as well as deaths related to AIDS have dropped to their lowest levels since the epidemic reached its peak, according to a new report issued by UNAIDS. The authors state that this has been a game-changing year for worldwide fight against AIDS. In comparison to 1997, the rate of new HIV infections has dropped by 21%, while AIDS-related deaths have fallen by 21% since 2005. There are many reasons for the decline including people having fewer sexual partners, using more condoms and, perhaps most importantly, "a massive scale up in access to HIV treatment."

  People living with HIV in the UK
  • The number of people living with HIV in the UK has trebled in the last 10 years
  • More than 90,000 people are living with HIV in the UK
  • Around a quarter of people with HIV in the UK are undiagnosed
  • About two thirds of people living with HIV are men and a third are women
  • Over half of all people living with HIV are aged between 30 and 49, but there are significant numbers both of young people and older people now living with HIV

  The latest figures for 2010 show:
  • 6,658 new HIV diagnoses
  • The two groups most affected remain gay and bisexual men and black African heterosexuals – over three-quarters of people diagnosed with HIV in 2010 were among these two groups
  • 3,000 new HIV diagnoses among men who have sex with men — the highest number ever recorded in a year
  • 3,350 new HIV diagnoses were acquired heterosexually and more than two-thirds of these acquired their HIV abroad
  • Half of adults were diagnosed with HIV at a late stage of infection (after the point at which treatment should have begun)

 All figures from the Health Protection Agency.


  International statistics
  • The number of new HIV infections has declined globally by 21% since the estimated peak of the epidemic in 1997
  • 2.7 million people were newly infected with HIV worldwide in 2009
  • In some parts of the world (particularly within Sub-Saharan Africa) between 15-28% of the population are living with HIV
  People living with HIV globally
  • 34 million people living with HIV worldwide
  • 0.8% HIV adult prevalence worldwide
  • 50% of people living with HIV worldwide are women
  • 1.8 million AIDS-related deaths
  New HIV cases around the globe in 2010
  • 2.7 million people diagnosed with HIV
  • 390,000 new HIV infections among children
  • HIV incidence has fallen in 33 countries, 22 of them in sub-Saharan Africa

 All global figures from UNAIDS

The best protection from HIV transmission remains using condoms for any form of sex, you can get these for free from your GP, Family Planning Clinic, GUM Clinic or from our website for those living in Swindon.

Please help show your support on the days leading up to and including by purchasing a red ribbon and donating money. Ribbons available from us on Dec 1st at Tesco Extra Ocotal Way, Swindon.

For more info on HIV/AIDS visit