Mr Gay Northern Ireland 2011, Chris Flanagan, and Mr Gay Ireland 2011, Baz Gouldsbury, celebrate their win.
The Mr Gay Ireland competition takes place to promote increased self-esteem among young, gay men and to encourage and support civic and social actions for HIV/AIDS. Nationwide heats culminated in a Grand Final in The Academy, which was held on October 24th. Representing the Front Lounge, Baz Gouldbury was announced as Mr Gay Ireland, while Dubarrys candidate, Chris Flanagan, became Mr Gay Northern Ireland. Between them, the finalists fundraised €11,200, for St. James’s Hospital’s Newfill Clinic.
St. James’s Hospital provides the largest treatment centre for HIV and sexual health in Ireland – in 2009, the Genital Urinary Medicine and Infectious Diseases outpatients clinics at St. James’s were attended by 25,460 people – more than 4,400 of whom were HIV positive.
Newfill is a reconstructive treatment to combat the effects of the antiretroviral medication used to treat HIV. This medicine can cause ‘facial wastage’ through a loss of facial fat, and consequently, can be highly upsetting for patients. Aside from the merely physical benefits, the Newfill treatment can enhance patients’ quality of living – and has been proven to improve adherence to therapy.
The Newfill clinic receives no public funding, and St. James’s is the only hospital in Ireland which is able to provide the treatment at no cost to patients. The annual donation received by the clinic from the Mr. Gay Ireland competition plays a hugely important role in ensuring this facility service available.
St. James’s Hospital Foundation would like to thank each of the 23 participants in the competition for their fundraising efforts, as well as the volunteers from the International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival who organise the event each year.
St. James’s Hospital Foundation
St. James’s Hospital
Telephone 01 428 4086