What is sexual Health Outreach?

The aim of outreach is to reduce HIV incidence for Men who have sex with men (MSM) and to keep them safe – sexually, physically, mentally and emotionally.

The Gay Men’s Health team, as part of The Eddystone Trust targeted prevention strategy aim to reduce the spread of HIV and sexually acquired infections amongst gay / bisexual men and men who have sex with men.

The Eddystone Trust believes in empowering men to make an informed choice in their sex lives and acknowledge that mental, physical, emotional and sexual health needs are interlinked.

The Gay men’s health team work in partnership with other local and national agencies including CHAPS Partners, Sexual Health Services, Police, Health, Education and LGBT Social and Support Networks.

There are many men who have sex with men (MSM) who for a variety of reasons do not identify as gay or bisexual and therefore do not access the usual channels of information and sources of support such as LGB commercial venues and service providers.

Men that use these areas do so for many reasons, Isolation, internalised homophobia or fear. Many MSM may be isolated, not just geographically but emotionally, they have few opportunities to access safer sex resources and advice. A reason for these men not accessing generic services may be fear, of outing to family, friends and colleagues, or even of just asking for support.

Research indicates that:

75% of public sex areas (PSA) users did not access the commercial gay scene
64% of PSA users did not use the internet
48% disclosed unprotected Anal Intercourse in a PSA
40% of men were either married or in a relationship with a woman
11.5% of men using PSA’s engaged in unprotected anal intercourse
MSM are disproportionately at higher risk of crime and reporting of these crimes is very low, joint working with Devon and Cornwall Police Diversity teams as part of the

*Safer Cruising initiative is aimed at both reducing levels of crime but also to increase the reporting of crime against this group of men.

To overcome these barriers, The Eddystone Trust delivers an outreach programme across South and West Devon that aims to make contact with men where they meet to socialise and / or have sex. Outreach workers are there to offer advice, support and signposting on safer sex, HIV and sexually acquired infections, GUM clinics, help lines, LGBT venues, personal safety, dealing with Police and reporting homophobic crime.

* “Safer Cruising” is a partnership project between The Eddystone Trust, Devon & Cornwall Police and the Intercom Trust with a shared aim of reducing crime and increasing personal safety for men that may use public sex areas.