A new project, funded by NHS Forth Valley, aims to challenge the health inequalities facing gay and bisexual men.
Delivered by Waverley Care, Scotland’s HIV and Hepatitis C charity, the SX project will complement the work of the Central Sexual Health Service promoting access to regular STI testing and free condoms. It will also offer training to healthcare professionals and provide one-to-one support to men in the community including those who are living with HIV.
SX Manager, Alistair Rose, said: “Scotland gets a lot of things right when it comes to LGBT issues but gay and bisexual men continue to face real health and social inequalities.
“Discrimination is still a big issue that puts many guys off looking for support. This can lead to issues around mental health and self-confidence that leave men open to making choices that may not be in the best interests of their health.
“SX gives guys a place within the community where they can come to talk about anything they’ve got going on in their lives. We won’t preach or judge, it’s about listening, understanding and giving men the confidence to live life their way.
NHS Forth Valley HIV Consultant, Dr Kirsty Abu-Rajab, added: “All of the evidence we have points to the continuing challenges facing gay and bisexual men, and tackling this remains a priority for the health board.
“Through Central Sexual Health we offer a range of services including confidential, convenient sexual health information and testing. Our partnership with SX will build on these services to provide support that is more directly tailored to the needs of local men.”