The Field Guide: Applying Making it Count to health promotion activity with homosexually active men

Devlin, Will; Keogh, Peter; Nutland, Will and Weatherburn, Peter (2003). The Field Guide: Applying Making it Count to health promotion activity with homosexually active men. Terrence Higgins Trust, London.



This Field Guide considers a range of methods used to carry out health promotion with homosexually active men. It is a companion document to Making it count: a collaborative planning framework to reduce the incidence of HIV infection during sex between men (Hickson et al., 2003). Like Making it count, this document will be reviewed every two to three years and accompanied by training opportunities. The authors welcome comments and suggestions on this document and its use. These can be sent to: or "Briefing papers" that add to the content of this guide will be produced as part of the CHAPS sector development programme. These will be available periodically from www.

Making it count describes a co-ordinated national framework to reduce HIV incidence occurring as a consequence of sex between men. It is intended for workers, managers, policy makers, legislators, health professionals or anyone with an investment in reducing HIV incidence among homosexually active men.

This Field Guide is written for gay men's HIV health promoters. It places the theory, goals and strategic aims contained in Making it count in the context of day-to-day health promotion activity. It was developed through a range of formal interviews and informal discussion with more than 40 managers and key workers with experience and expertise in specific areas of HIV health promotion for homosexually active men. It concentrates mainly on direct contact work (Chapters 3 to 7), but also considers other types of health promotion that benefit homosexually active men by influencing the structures they live within (Chapter 8).

Section one (Chapters 1 and 2) provides an overview of Making it count and the relationship between this document and that main framework. It outlines the key strategic aims of Making it count and contextualises what follows.

Section two concerns direct contact with homosexually active men. Chapters 3, 4, 5 and 6 deal with different methods of carrying out direct contact work with this population. Chapter 7 considers the different target groups within the entire population of homosexually active men. It examines how to prioritise target groups using epidemiological and needs data and how best to target different groups in various settings.

Section three (Chapter 8) addresses other types of health promotion interventions that are necessary including policy, community and service interventions. These are the interventions needed in order to facilitate direct contact interventions and attend to the broader determinants of sexual health for homosexually active men.

It is anticipated that some (NHS) commissioners would benefit from reading this document in order to further their understanding of the range of work that they could fund. However, this document is not an implementation plan for the NHS in relation to HIV incidence among homosexually active men. Rather, Terrence Higgins Trust are currently in discussion with the Department of Health concerning further work to support the use of Making it count as the basis for Primary Care Trusts' planning and purchasing of HIV prevention activity for homosexually active men.

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