In the field of sexual health, harm reduction is often closely associated with the use of recreational drugs. We certainly can’t stop people from using street drugs and instead of moralising about it and making drug users feel alienated, we need to implement programmes designed to mitigate the harm associated with this behaviour. Such harm reduction programmes are certainly not new – their importance is recognised by international bodies such as the WHO, UNAIDS and USAID – but they’re certainly new to South Africa. Health4Men, a project of the Anova Health Institute, already at the forefront of providing innovative free sexual health services for gay and bisexual men, has initiated an innovative harm reduction programme in Cape Town.
Hilary Twiggs has been appointed as a Health4Men Training Coordinator. Hilary has been a lecturer in nursing science at Stellenbosch University; she has very significant skills in terms of both training and nurse mentoring. She will be based at the Green Point office and will coordinate all training in the Western Cape, in addition to consulting for Health4Men’s training and mentoring programme nationally.