Respond to – Gay On The Rise

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DEAR EDITOR, I would like to draw attention to the article published in the Island Sun on 29/08/2018.

Firstly, I would like to thank the editors of the Island Star for their promotion of the work of SIPPA and our work to provide sexual and reproductive health for all Solomon Islanders.

We welcome everyone to our services.

The article drew attention to the sexual health issues experienced by many people from the gay community and for women and men who sell sex.

These communities are very vulnerable to contracting sexually transmitted infections because of the stigma and discrimination we as a society impose upon them.

It is very important that we respect people’s right to health and this includes their access to prevention, treatment and care for sexually transmitted infections.

The article also stated that the number of people identifying as gay was rising.

This does not mean that more men and women are becoming gay.

It means that the people who used to be very afraid to show that they were gay are now feeling more confident to live their lives the way they want to.

Even though there is still discrimination in our society towards gay people and women who sell sex, I am confident that we are all becoming more accepting of others who may live in different types of relationships.

This social acceptance means that vulnerable people will not be afraid to seek care to protect themselves and the people they love.

I would like to express my thanks again to the Island Sun editor for presenting this topic to the readers.

I hope that this will help everyone understand the difficulties some people in our community face.

Ben Angoa

Executive Director

SIPPA

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