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Plans to expand network of gay health centres

The Federal Health Office plans to subsidise three more health centres catering for gay men, bringing the national total to five.

Geneva and Zurich already have gay health “checkpoints” available to sexually active men, which offer quick tests for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases as well as advice and support. Basel, Lausanne and Bern have been chosen as locations for the new drop-in centres.

The checkpoints began as local initiatives, inspired by similar offerings in the Netherlands. The Zurich centre, which is seen as an example for future facilities, runs a course for men newly infected with HIV.

Gay men suffer more health problems on average than heterosexual men, according to Swiss studies cited by the Federal Health Office. Mental health is of particular concern with a higher suicide rate among young gay men.

The state currently provides SFr150,000 ($182,457) per annum or 20 per cent of the budget for the Zurich centre, and supports the one in Geneva to the tune of SFr100,000.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR