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As One Door Closes

For the LGBT+ community, the Ireland of 1992 was a very different place to how it is now, most obviously, homosexuality was still criminalised, with many compelled to keep their sexuality a secret. Services that openly catered to the sexual health of MSM were non-existent, so the mere fact that a clinic then calling itself the Gay Men’s Health Project would open a full nine months before decriminalisation took place was rather revolutionary.

A few years before, the Eastern Health Board had set up the AIDS Resource Centre in response to an increase in HIV/ AIDS and heroin use. Among its services, the Centre provided a HIV testing only drop-in centre which was also used by many gay and bisexual men. Spurred by this knowledge, in 1991, Mick Quinlan and David Wyse, two outreach workers from drugs/ AIDS services, carried out a survey across Dublin’s gay bars, clubs and saunas on the sexual health needs of MSM. From the results of their findings, the Eastern Health Board established the Gay Men’s Health Project.

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