Gay Health Network (GHN) is a network of organisations and individuals in Ireland providing the national; resource, response, support and expert network for the promotion of HIV prevention and sexual health and wellbeing for gay, bisexual and men who have sex with men (MSM).
Founded in 1994 Gay Health Network (GHN) has continually (with no paid staff) and little funding, provided peer led and peer engaged activities and actions, and produced much of the promotion material aimed at MSM in Ireland and has also initiated and led on key research.
The promotion of HIV prevention and sexual health awareness among gay, bisexual and men who have sex with men (MSM) nationally, and in specific communities; addressing and challenging HIV-related stigma and discrimination; commissioning of key research in the area of HIV and sexual health among MSM, including men living with HIV.
Since 2011, GHN has worked in partnership with the HSE and introduced the first ever National HIV Prevention and Sexual Health Awareness Programme for MSM. In 2013, following the success of the Man2Man.ie programme, ‘GHN and the HSE agreed the importance of building on the achievements of the programme, to promote consistent and sustained HIV and STI prevention messages among MSM in Ireland’. Strategic objectives were agreed and funding is provided to GHN on completion of activities on a yearly basis to the present day.
National Promotion and continuous development of Man2Man.ie, the only HIV and sexual health information and resource website specifically targeting MSM in Ireland.
Promote social inclusion and increase access to information for harder to reach groups living outside urban areas through social media and print and broadcast media.
Initiate a peer-led volunteer outreach service to promote HIV prevention and sexual health at social venues and distribute condoms and lube.
Respond to emerging trends, in consultation with key stakeholders, by developing targeted and tailored HIV and STI prevention initiatives.
The actions and activities of GHN are evidence-based, closely aligned and strongly linked with the findings and recommendations of research and relevant reports.
The activities of the GHN and the Man2Man.ie Programme are also aligned with the aims of the National Sexual Health Strategy 2015 to 2020, “to improve sexual health and wellbeing” and “to reduce negative sexual health outcomes” amongst men who have sex with men (MSM) who are a population group “at increased risk of STIs and HIV”.
To this end the GHN current actions represent a continued strategic output along with our members and partnership groups, including the HSE, Sexual Health and Crisis Pregnancy Programme (SHCPP), Health Protection Surveillance Committee (HPSC) and the Gay Men’s Health Service (GMHS). These outputs are outlined in our yearly reports and also reflected in the HSE ‘Action Plan: Response to the National Increase in HIV & STIs in MSM’ 2017.