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Raising awareness of UK GUM clinic activities
  1. D Cawley,
  2. R Nandwani
  1. The Sandyford Initiative, Glasgow, UK
  1. Correspondence to: 
 Declan.Cawley{at}glacomen.scot.nhs.uk

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In their recent letter on the sexual health issues which face performers in the adult entertainment industry, Gabrielsen and Barton highlight the current lack of coherent sexual health infrastructure for this population in the United Kingdom.1 The work of the AIM Health Care Foundation in the United States, is a valuable model which identifies the unique sexual health requirements of adult industry workers. By providing specialist care for the performers, AIM provides advice and information to a group whose specific needs have been globally poorly addressed. Evidence of this is provided by the large number of performers who choose to access AIM Health Care for their HIV tests in the United States.2

In the United Kingdom this would also seem to be the case, as the few adult performers who have any form of STI screening also prefer to use the facilities of private clinics.3 The role of GUM clinics stretches beyond an authenticating agency for HIV certification, which should not be allowed to become the primary reason for contact between performers and GUM staff. Stronger emphasis needs to be placed on re-education within the UK industry to highlight the need for regular STI screening, health education and promotion. Especially since few performers have any form of regular STI screening either in their public or private lives.4 We believe that it may be helpful to raise awareness of services offered by modern GUM clinics in the United Kingdom, by training and targeted information for adult performers.

By taking control of sexual health the industry will not only have healthy performers but will also provide the viewing public with a safer sex message that is portrayed in an entertaining, safe and non-threatening manner. Therefore, bearing in mind the complexities facing performers, the adult entertainment industry should be commended for working with core HIV/GUM services and piloting a study into the sexual health of adult performers. It will be of particular interest to see whether sexual health care can be provided for this group within the bounds of the NHS or whether they, like their American counterparts, will choose to rely on private clinics to provide them with care and information.

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