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A European Seal of Approval for ‘gay’ businesses: findings from an HIV-prevention pilot project

SAGE Publications (UK and US)
Publication Date
  • B700 Nursing And Midwifery
  • Medicine
  • Social Sciences


Aims: ‘Gay' businesses can be important settings through which to deliver health promotioninterventions to vulnerable populations, such as men who have sex with men (MSM) regardingHIV prevention. This article draws on data from the European Everywhere project,which represents the first scheme to develop and pre-test a common framework for HIV/STIprevention in ‘gay' businesses across eight European countries.Methods: The scientific basis of the Everywhere framework was developed using a comprehensiveconsensus-building process over 30 months. This process included: formative scopingresearch; interviews with 54 ‘gay' businesses; meetings/workshops with representatives fromproject partners, ‘gay' businesses, public health administrations and external experts; 15 interviewsand three focus groups with project partners; a five-month pilot action phase in eightcountries, together with support from the project's Advisory Group and all Everywhere projectpartners including the Scientific Steering Committee.Results: A voluntary European code setting out differentiated HIV/STI-prevention standards for‘gay' businesses (sex venues, ‘gay' and ‘gay' friendly social spaces, travel agencies, hotels,dating websites) was developed and piloted in eight European cities. During a five-month pilotaction, 83 ‘gay' businesses were certified with the Everywhere Seal of Approval representing aconsiderable increase on the expected pilot target of 30.Conclusions: Everywhere offers a major contribution to the public health and/or health promotionfield in the form of a practical, policy-relevant, settings-based HIV-prevention frameworkfor ‘gay' businesses that is common across eight European countries. Findings suggest that aEuropean-wide model of prevention is acceptable and feasible to businesses.

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