Local LGBT+ Groups have published a joint statement urging the practice of safe sex and GU Clinic checkups following an outbreak of Syphilis and other STIs from “Group Chemsex Parties.”
ARC – Allied Rainbow Communities, Checkpoint Malta, LGBTI+ Gozo, MGRM – Malta LGBTIQ Rights Movement, Preping Malta all signed the statement. The organisations called once again on medical authorities to engage in discussions towards the best possible long-term strategy. “We urge any sexually active person to get tested and practice safer sex,” they wrote.
This statement came after a warning issued by the GU Clinic at Mater Dei over a rise in STIs in Malta among men who reported they attended group sex parties. “Over the last six months, these events have been going on and over these last weeks we’ve seen some really bad cases of STIs at the GU Clinic,” reported Head of the clinic, Dr Valeska Padovese.
These parties are normally organised in people’s houses and involve drug-use to prolong the sessions, with some parties “starting Saturday evening and finishing 10 hours later on Sunday morning”. This poses a number of legal and health risks considering the ongoing pandemic as well.
The GU Clinic reiterated that they do not intend to shame anyone or “get anyone in trouble.” However, it is important to warn those involved about the risks they are taking and how it inflicts on the rest of the community as well.
- For testing book an appointment at the GU Clinic by calling +356 2545 7491, Monday to Friday between 7am and 4pm.
- For prevention and to find other important information about STIs including HIV, visit www.hivmalta.com.
- For support on STIs or drug use, you can get in touch with the Rainbow Support Service (RSS) on +356 79430006 (inc. Whatsapp). RSS is a free service run by a team of social workers and counsellors specialising in LGBTIQ+ issues and drug use. RSS can also be reached on [email protected] or via social media.