Strategic Action Plan
GAY HEALTH NETWORK (GHN)
SUMMARY - STRATEGIC ACTION PLAN 2011-2013, DECEMBER 2010
The Gay Health Network (GHN) is an All-Ireland network of organisations and individuals with a shared ethos and commitment to achieving the purpose of the network, sharing ideas, work, resources and experiences. Since its foundation in 1994, GHN has been actively publishing and distributing HIV and safer sex information for MSM, as well as conducting and publishing vital research on sexual health in this area.
PURPOSE OF GHN
GHN’s purpose is to promote HIV prevention and sexual health awareness among men who have sex with men (MSM), with a focus on men living with HIV, and to combat the stigma associated with HIV.
This 3-year Action Plan is created in the context of many factors:
- A review of the achievements and challenges of the implementation of the GHN Strategic Action Plan 2008-2012.
- A review of current policy and key findings of relevant research in an Irish and European context, including:
- National AIDS Strategy Committee (NASC) HIV and AIDS Education and Prevention Plan 2008-2012
- The All-Ireland Gay Men’s Sex Survey 2000 to 2008
- The European MSM Internet Survey (EMIS) 2010
- HIV Surveillance Reports on Diagnosed HIV infections among MSM in Ireland 2000-2010, Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC)
- LGBT Health: Towards meeting the Health Care Needs of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender People, HSE, 2009
A review of the social context, including:
- Increasing infection rates among MSM in Ireland, particularly among younger MSM
- Presenting late for testing and late diagnosis
- The availability of Post Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP)
- The changing needs of people living with HIV
- HIV-related stigma and fears around disclosure
- New technologies for meeting sex partners
- A reduction in outreach and access to and availability of condoms and lube
- Securing the funding and resources necessary to implement actions, including reviewing the structure of GHN.
STRATEGIC OBJECTIVE 1:
DEVELOP A NATIONAL HIV PREVENTION CAMPAIGN TARGETING MSM
- Agree a partnership with the HSE to develop and roll-out a national programme.
- Develop innovative ways to target MSM living outside of urban centres.
- Include peer development as part of the campaign to target younger MSM.
- Increase public awareness of, and seek to challenge, HIV-related stigma as part of the campaign.
STRATEGIC OBJECTIVE 2:
ENHANCE PROMOTION OF THE MAN2MAN.IE WEBSITE
- Continue to develop the website and update information regularly and as relevant.
- Work in partnership with GHN member organisations to promote and raise awareness of the website.
- Identify opportunities to promote the website through a range of other methods, including social media channels.
- Continue to engage with new communities, through the translation of all publications on the website.
STRATEGIC OBJECTIVE 3:
INCREASE ACCESS TO CONDOMS AND LUBE
- Develop an online ordering system to increase access to free sample condom and lube packs and/or cost-effective bulk condom and lube packs.
- Work in partnership with relevant GHN member organisations to ensure continued access to free condoms and lube for the target group.
STRATEGIC OBJECTIVE 4:
ENGAGE IN RELEVANT RESEARCH TO INFORM AND ENHANCE THE WORK OF GHN
- Support GMHS to publish data report from All Ireland Gay Men’s Sex Surveys 2007 and 2008 (Real Lives 3).
- Support GMHS and the EMIS Project to publish All-Ireland data reports from the European MSM Internet Survey 2010, including findings relating to MSM living with HIV.
- Through existing networks, committees and partnerships, identify and engage in other relevant research opportunities.
STRATEGIC OBJECTIVE 5:
REVIEW AND DEVELOP GHN STRUCTURES AND COMMUNICATIONS TO ENSURE CAPACITY TO DELIVER THE 3-YEAR ACTION PLAN
- Enhance funding opportunities by registering GHN as a Company and as a Charity.
- Develop partnership with HSE beyond the planned national programme.
- Lobby government for improved services and investment in HIV prevention and sexual health awareness among MSM.
- Continue to increase sector-wide communications through development and distribution of a quarterly newsletter