Sexual Health and HIV Outreach Service

The Sexual Health and HIV Outreach Service provides a non-judgemental friendly service to gay and bisexual men, lesbians and bisexual women, and transgender/transvestite people, promoting awareness of LGBT issues. For more information please contact us below:

NHS - Sexual Health Service
St Mary's Hospital
Newport, Isle of Wight
PO30 5TG

landline 01983 534202 (for messages)
email: sexualhealth@iow.nhs.uk

Support & Social Groups

There are currently no gay venues on the island but there are various social and support groups…

OlgaContact Jim on 07795 126756.This is a lively friendship circle for LGBT people who are over the age of 50. We meet in Newport at the Riverside Centre ever-other Monday at 7.30pm. We play cards, listen to music and discuss the issues of the day. We also have events like going to the pictures, bowling etc. and we have occasional speakers.

FOR TRANS. INFORMATION & SUPPORT

Phoenix (Portsmouth)Contact Jane Butt 023 92683306. Support group for transsexuals.

Contact Mia for our Island support group – www.wightconnect.org.uk

For younger trans there is a national website – www.mermaidsuk.org.uk

For general trans information – www.gires.org.uk

History of the gay community on the Island

We have the twin characteristics of being a rural community and a special added perspective from being an island.

We are a friendly bunch, but there has long been a tradition here of caution and discretion, particularly when it comes to discussing or disclosing anything about your personal life. This is doubly true when it comes to issues around sexuality.  Many people conduct their ‘gay’ social life off the island in order to preserve their anonymity and consequently the island’s gay social scene is disproportionately smaller and limited in scope.  Historically there have been various pubs and clubs who operated a policy of having a ‘gay-night’ once a week.  More recently this became ‘once-a month’ venues and currently we have none!  This is a sign of the changing times and the changing expectations of gay people.  Many do not find the idea of being ‘ghettoised’ into gay nights attractive and voted with their feet! 

Things are changing - here as elsewhere. Young people are growing up in an environment where Civil Partnerships are recognised, the Age of Consent is equal with heterosexuals and where discrimination against gay people is not only frowned upon - it is illegal!  Many young gay people are confident enough to freely attend the island’s mainstream nightclubs with their friends and don’t find it a problem to be open about their sexuality.  There are other young people, however, who are not so confident or who face prejudice either from their schoolmates, their parents and families or their neighbours.  Discrimination has not gone away!  There are also older LGBT people who miss the opportunity to socialise that gay nights offered to them, and who feel out-of-place in mainstream venues.

There is generally an ‘age-split’ in attitudes towards being gay. People over 50 tend to be more cautious and concerned about people’s reactions and the possible negative consequences to Coming Out.

They have the right to expect our continuing support and to have their privacy respected.

Useful Numbers & Links

Condom Distribution (CD) Scheme. Free condoms are available to all gay/bi men through this scheme – or just contact me to have your condoms and lube posted out to you.  Safer sex leaflets and other LGBT information leaflets are also available on request.  Remember that condoms are your best protection against all STIs. (sexually transmitted diseases)

HIV  & other Sexual Health information – please look on our ‘What can I catch?’ and HIV buttons, but also click on these two sites….  Information about sexually transmitted diseases (STIs) is non-specific about your sexual orientation and non-judgemental: However, the HIV sites below recognise the particular needs of high-risk groups such as gay men and people from the BME (black minority ethnic) communities.

Website for people who are HIV+   www.myhiv.org.uk   ( sponsored by THT and Elton John Foundation)

Website for general info on HIV     www.HIVaware.org.uk  (sponsored by NAT and Durex)

Learning Disability(SHIELD). Help for clients who have issues around their sexuality.  Contact me or Teresa Day on 538013

Sexual Health Service, St Mary’s Hospital Newport, 01983 534202. A gay-friendly environment where you can talk freely with staff about any sexual health problems or worries you may have. 

Police LAGLOs(Lesbian and Gay Liaison/Diversity Officers (Public Protection Unit), 01983 538707.  We currently have about 20 LAGLO police officers on the island and we are far-ahead of many Police Authorities in this respect. They receive regular training/briefing sessions on the mainland along with their Hampshire Constabulary colleagues. They are skilled in handling sensitive LGBT issues such as harassment, homophobic bullying or hate crime, same-sex domestic violence and rape.

Broken Rainbow, 0845 2604460. LGBT Domestic Violence national helpline.

 

PEPSE

PEPSE  (emergency treatment to minimise the risk of HIV infection following a condom-failure or following an episode of unproteted penetrative sex) is available on the Island. You need to contact the A&E Department at St Mary's Hospital or the Sexual Health Service on 534202.  Treatment needs to begin within 72 hours of the incident occuring to be effective.