RFSL's outreach work with HIV and health consists of the Sexperts' Chat, the Newly Arrived LGBTQ People's Health project, Testpoint, and various different workshops.
Sexperts’ Chat forms part of the Health and HIV Prevention section. The service is run by RFSL Stockholm and RFSL, and is financed by a grant for HIV prevention from the Swedish Public Health Agency. RFSL and RFSL Stockholm have run Sexperts’ Chat as a national programme since 2009.
The target groups are mainly trans people and men who have sex with men. Sexperts’ Chat can be found online at Qruiser.com and on Facebook two-three nights a week, where questions from members of the target groups are answered. The Sexperts speak to almost 1,500 people per year, and the service is greatly appreciated. The volunteers who work with the service are themselves part of the target groups, and have been appropriately trained for the work. Sexperts’ Chat also offers free condoms and lubricants to target groups.
Newcomers and LGBTQ Health
Newly Arrived LGBTQ People’s Health is a project that started in April 2015, and will run until the end of the year. It is a collaboration between RFSL and RFSL Stockholm, and is financed by Stockholm County Council. The aim of the project is to investigate how newly arrived LGBTQ people in Stockholm experience Swedish healthcare, sex education and HIV prevention. We are also in touch with the Swedish Migration Board and other organisations that work with newly arrived LGBTQ people. An inventory of the existing resource information on sex and HIV is also being carried out to see how it can be more relevant.
The Testpoint project started in March 2015 and is RFSL’s own HIV testing service. It is run in collaboration with RFSL Stockholm and is financed by the Swedish Public Health Agency. The project offers rapid result HIV testing in the premises of RFSL, at the LGBT nightclub Candy and at the sauna club Texas, all located in Stockholm city centre. Since Testpoint started, about 1200 people have become aware of their HIV status and have also been offered a 15 minute consultation with an HIV prevention worker. Testpoint is based in Stockholm, but also does occasional testing in other parts of the country.
Workshops on Safer Sex and HIV for RFSL Newcomers Groups
RFSL arranges workshops on safer sex and HIV that are geared towards the RFSL Newcomers groups. The workshops are organised by RFSL’s Health and HIV Prevention section and the project is funded by the Swedish Public Health Agency. RFSL has provided workshops specifically for Newcomers since 2013, but is now expanding its operation.
The target groups are newly arrived migrants, asylum seekers, and people without documents from all over the world. The response has been positive with the participants feeling that they learn a lot, and also get to talk about things they might not have had the possibility to discuss before. RFSL has trained Newcomers group members to hold their own workshops around the country.