A new report by Terrence Higgins Trust (THT) shows that despite an increasing epidemic in sexually transmitted infections, there are still no dedicated services in Cardiff, for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender young people and those questioning their sexuality (LGBTQ). THT is concerned that these people may be putting their sexual health at risk because of lack of support.
The THT report, Starting Out, which was sponsored by Cardiff Children and Young People’s Paretnership, (in partnership with Cardiff Council, Stonewall Cymru, Rainbow Project South Wales and Triangle Wales) showed that:
62% of respondents wanted to see a specific LGBTQ youth project set up in the city of Cardiff
65% of all the respondents said they would access services if they knew more about them
The report also shows that even though there are services available for young people, many respondants did not feel confident in accessing them, as they are mainstream services and not designed to meet the needs of LGBTQ young people.
There are now more than 50 people under 25 living with HIV in Wales, and over 2,000 people under 25 were newly diagnosed with chlamydia in Wales in 2004. A recent census shows that there are around 3,500 lesbian gay and bisexual people aged 15 to 25 living in and around the city of Cardiff.
THT is calling for new services in Cardiff to provide a safe space for LGBTQ young people to meet other people and access services and support away from the commercial gay scene.
Robjohn, National Manager for THT in Wales said:
“Cardiff has the nation’s most vibrant gay scene and hosts the biggest lesbian and gay event in Wales, the Mardi Gras. But despite this, there is still no dedicated service for lesbian and gay young people.
“This report shows how important it is for young people in Cardiff to have somewhere they can go for support and advice about coming out, meeting other people and protecting themselves from HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.”