You might argue that Gaydar is in its teenage years… in more ways than one. The way we see it: We’ve been around for almost two decades. That’s twice as long as Adam Lambert! More than long enough to have witnessed a fair bit of transformation in our community. Let’s all agree we’ve come a long way: When it comes to LGBT rights things are better today than ever before, and the same goes for improvement in gay men’s sexual health. Yet, now is not the time to stop caring. No, it’s not.
In 2016, the Terrence Higgins Trust reported a 21% decrease in HIV diagnoses compared to the previous year. It’s encouraging, but here’s why no one, not even you, should rest on their laurels. Safer sex is no longer just about whether or not you use condoms, let’s be honest. It’s 2017. Getting tested regularly, disclosing your status, taking PrEP or simply having open discussions with your sexual partners are all ways of limiting the risks to pass or getting an STI.
You’re probably wondering why we took this away in the first place. Well not everyone feels comfortable talking about sexual health and HIV. Since our new Managing Director, Rob Curtis, arrived at Gaydar in October, he’s challenged us to remember that being part of the gay community means fighting for that community, even when it feels uncomfortable. He also reminded us of legacy as one of the first gay sites to reach out directly to members to educate them on safer sex.
To make sure that we’re got the best possible approach, we’ve partnered with the leading London-based sexual health clinic to discuss ways to encourage our users to take their sexual health seriously. So starting December 1st, as the first step in that direction, we are re-introducing HIV status and Safer Sex to Gaydar. This is nothing revolutionary, we know it, but we’re hopeful that it will open doors.
For those of you interested in learning a bit more about ways to improve their sexual health and that of their partners, feel free to refer to the following resources: