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Swiss AIDS organisation presents online counselling service

Switzerland’s key organisation fighting AIDS, the Swiss AIDS Federation, on Thursday presented their online counselling service known as “DrGay.”

This content was published on November 25, 1999 - 08:33

Switzerland’s key organisation fighting AIDS, the Swiss AIDS Federation, on Thursday presented their online counselling service known as “DrGay.”

The www.drgay.ch website mainly offers gays and lesbians anonymous individual counselling on safe sex and AIDS prevention, federation manager Ruth Rutman told a news conference in Berne.

The website – maintained by two experts working in French and German – also offers advice on such issues as relationships, physical and psychological health.

“We want to provide an internet service that allows gays and bisexuals in the country to ask questions that they would perhaps not be able to ask someone directly,” said counselling expert Pascal Moret.

The website has received more than 100 queries since the online service became available three months ago, said the federation, which is the parent organisaton of 21 cantonal and regional AIDS federations and another 24 AIDS aid groups.

Most of the questions presented were addressing safe sex issues and difficulties in striking up relationships among gay people.

“Another important point are questions coming from young people from 15 to 20, who are in a coming-out stage and feel isolated, or who worry about not finding any contact to the gay community,” said Moret.

Federation officials say recent studies have shown that gays and bisexuals are more likely to follow safe sex practices if they feel good about themselves and their sexual identity.

The AIDS federation also maintains its own site, www.aids.ch. It provides information on medical issues relating to gays and lesbians, HIV and AIDS testing as well as legal and insurance assistance.

Thursday’s news conference came only a few days ahead of World AIDS Day, which will take place on December 1st.

From staff and wire reports.

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