Terrence Higgins Trust launches new Code of Good Practice for saunas and other venues

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Leading HIV and sexual health charity Terrence Higgins Trust (THT) is working with a range of organisations to launch a new code of good practice today for gay venues in London and Brighton. Play Zone: Code of Good Practice is funded through a national HIV prevention programme, and aims to create a safer environment for customers and staff by ensuring that sexual health, hygiene and health and safety standards are being met.

The code is aimed at saunas and other venues such as bars and clubs where sex between men might occur. It’s hoped that the code will also raise awareness around sexual health and help to reduce the number of new STI and HIV infections.

Venues in London and Brighton have been invited to voluntarily participate in the code. By participating in the scheme, owners, promoters and managers give a clear message that they recognise the importance of providing a safe, clean environment for customers and staff.

All venues and staff receive a manual to guide them through the process. In addition to the pack, free training is also available for venue staff on HIV, sexual health, PEP, drug and alcohol awareness and first aid. Venues that have successfully met the standards set out in the code have received Play Zone branding and certificates to display – making it easier for customers to identify a venue participating in the scheme.

The principles laid out within the Code include setting minimum standards in:

Condom and lubricant distribution and access
Ensuring that information on sexual health is available
Staff training on sexual health, HIV, Post Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) and drug and alcohol awareness
Staff vaccinations for hepatitis A, hepatitis B and tetanus
Health and safety training
First aid training
Lighting at venues
Cleaning of venues
Rod Watson, Head of Health Promotion at Terrence Higgins Trust said: “A number of venues have participated so far, and we hope that more will follow. By participating in the code venues give a clear message to staff and customers that they are committed to high standards. For customers, they’ll be able to visibly see which venues take their health and safety seriously because successful venues will display the Play Zone logo inside and out.”

For more information on Play Zone: Code of Good Practice call 020 7812 1600 or visit www.tht.org.uk/playzone