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Health Promotion Specialist
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Sector Development Officer for BME Communities
Black Gay Men's Advisory Group
Chair of BME Committee
Simon Nelson has been working in the field of HIV and AIDS since the early 1990's.He started his career having worked as a buddy volunteer for the Terrence Higgins Trust.Since 1998 he has been a health promotion specialist with Camden and Islington Health Promotion Service and was partly responsible for setting up and running last year's Mr. Black Gay UK held at the Sound nightclub, Leicester Square in London.He is currently managing the freedoms scheme, the world's largest free condom distribution scheme, offering all gay venues within London access to free condoms and lube.
Simon has been proactively working with Black men (whether gay identified or not) and those wishing to increase service provision to them for the past 8 years. Having started working as a volunteer at the HIV charity Terrence Higgins Trust in 1993 things have come full circle and he is now in a full time development role with the organisation as the Black Gay Men's Development Officer. Last year he wrote Chatblack a booklet that explores much more than merely avoidance or treatment of sexually transmitted infections and HIV. As with Chatblack another resource Switch the Groove music CD addresses issues like self-esteem and acceptance. In 2000, he helped organise Mr. Black Gay UK as part of Black History Month combining music that the mainstream gay scene rarely caters for, proving that health needn't be boring! "My work will now focus on campaigning to address many of the issues Black gay men themselves have identified. Homophobia from within the Black community and racism in general need to be challenged if we are to truly tackle the root cause of bad health, namely inequality." Simon also writes for the health section, "Sex With Simon"
Simon Nelson, Black Gay Men's Advisory Group
Simon Nelson is one of our guests for the conference
Simon Nelson, Sector Development Officer for BME communities at Terrence Higgins Trust, said: "Whilst homophobia is by no means exclusive to black communities, there is evidence to suggest that homophobic lyrics used by certain artists which incite violence towards gay people have a detrimental effect on the physical and mental wellbeing of black lesbian, gay and bisexual people, particularly gay men. He continued: "Black gay men are far less likely to be out to friends and family, are more likely to face homophobia from within their own families and may find themselves with no option other than to lead a double life, often feeling that they should remain silent on such issues. Simon Nelson continued: "We need to widen the debate on the whole issue of tolerance towards gay people within black communities - this must include the issue of homophobic lyrics and the "normalisation" of homophobia, both of which damage our efforts to promote good sexual health and well being.
Simon Nelson is one of our guests for the conference Simon Nelson, Sector Development Officer for BME communities at Terrence Higgins Trust, said: "Whilst homophobia is by no means exclusive to black communities, there is evidence to suggest that homophobic lyrics used by certain artists which incite violence towards gay people have a detrimental effect ...