Tuesday, February 21, 2012

HIM NEWS February 2012

In This Issue:
Totally Outright
Take Time for Your Mind
S.T.O.P. HIV Survey
Workshops & Programs
'Below the Belt' cancer information sessions
Running Group
Rockclimbing Workshop
Outreach: Update
UBC OutWeek
Langara Sexual Health Fair
WinterPride 2012



Want to meet other young, fun, smart gay guys?

Do you want to learn how to be a better friend, lover, or boyfriend?

Totally Outright is a four-day leadership workshop for young gay guys interested in being healthy, sex-savvy trendsetters. Over the two weekends of March 10/11 and 24/25 you and twenty other young gay men will participate in interactive, thought provoking presentations from community leaders and experts in gay men's health. Topics range from coming out to gay sex, drug related harm reduction to relationships, and a whole lot in between.

We can accept a limited number of guys each year, and spots are filling up! For more information or to apply visit www.totallyoutright.ca.


A new month and a new look for the TAKE TIME FOR YOUR MIND campaign.

Because gay life isn't always smooth sailing, it's good to talk to someone about whatever may be troubling you (or have the potential to trouble you), things you are coping with, or stuff you are trying to sort out. It's helpful to talk. It's healthy.

At the Health Initiative for Men (HIM), we have three resources for helping you take time for your mind:

HIM Peer Support connects you with another gay guy to talk to ... someone personable, someone who is a great listener. No professional opinions, no clinical diagnoses, no judgments. It sounds so simple, but it can make a world of difference for you. And, it's entirely confidential and available for free.

HIM Professional Counselling connects you with a gay guy who has a professional counselling, psychology, or related credential and with whom you can securely explore, through talk, whatever is troubling your psychological well-being. Some analysis, some guidance, but no judgments. Affirmative and only pay 'by donation'.

HIM Personal Strategic Advising connects you with a gay guy who can help you sort out how to reach some of your identified goals and be supportive as you move further along that path. With help in moving toward your goals, that is at least one stress reduced in your otherwise fabulous life. Six sessions available for free.

Additional information available at www.checkhimout.ca/mind. Register for your appointment by calling the HIM Office at (604) 488-1001.

Look out for this month's new posters, postcards, and compact calendars at select gay bars, bookstores around town, and our HIM clinics. Thanks again to our volunteers who have generously donated their time to be part of this initiative.

The Canadian AIDS Treatment Information Exchange (CATIE) held their second Youth Symposium, Intersexions and Interjections, on February 4 - 5, 2012 in Toronto, Ontario at the BMO Institute for Learning Centre. Because the first conference was held back in the early 90's, this was a much-anticipated follow-up after over 20 years of youth work and engagement in the field of HIV knowledge and exchange on a national level. HIM Program Managers Jody Jollimore, Matthew Taylor (HUSTLE), and Program Coordinator, Daniel McGraw (Totally Outright) were in attendance and involved in delivering a successful workshop about Totally Outright - a leadership program for young gay men, as well as an 'ignite talk' power point presentation on HUSTLE: Men on the Move - one of the newest programs at HIM.

The weekend was a successful combination of networking, information sharing, research and knowledge exchange on the current work, as well as best practices, being done by and for youth with respect to HIV across Canada and beyond.

Many thanks to CATIE for the opportunity to get involved!


Our partners at the S.T.O.P. HIV Project have asked us to distribute this very short evaluation. Please take a few minutes to complete the survey. Thanks!

Please click Vancouver S.T.O.P. HIV survey to complete the survey. It will take no more than 10 minutes to complete.

DEADLINE: Please complete this survey by Saturday, February 25th, 2012.

Please note:
This survey is for people who are living in or receive HIV health services in Vancouver.
This survey is completely anonymous and we are not able to trace participant details in any way (IP addresses are not collected)
We are also holding community discussion groups about S.T.O.P. HIV services in Vancouver. If you would like to join a community discussion, please contact Margreth Tolson (Margreth.tolson@vch.ca or 604-708-5320) for more information.



...all about "Below the Belt" cancers.

The Oncology Advocacy group from Internal Medicine at U.B.C. will be coming to HIM to talk about 3 cancers that affect men in particular: prostate, colorectal, testicular and HPV-related cancers.

Held on Tuesday evenings beginning on March 6th at the HIM office, each workshop will have a 45 minute presentation followed by a Q&A session. So, bring all those below-the-belt questions you've always wanted to ask!


Thursday, March 6th: PROSTATE
Thursday, March 13th: COLORECTAL
Thursday, March 20th: TESTICULAR & HPV


7 pm - 8:30 pm


HIM Office

310-1033 Davie Street

Please register at register@checkhimout.ca or call (604) 488-1001.


Time to kick start your fitness routine? Training for the Sun Run? Or, just getting your body cardio ready for Spring?

HIM is collaborating with Vancouver Frontrunners for an "all levels" introductory-level Run/Walk group that is designed to be a fun, motivational way to get you out and meet other like-minded guys this Spring.

The group will be led by Dom, a certified trainer and gym owner, who knows how to respect people's personal limitations while motivating them to push themselves to the next level.

Participants are asked to commit to the full ten-week program of 2 sessions per week: Wednesday evenings and Saturday mornings. The program has been designed by experts to gradually increase your stamina. Full details at the briefing session in our office on Wednesday, March 7th.


Wednesday evenings & Saturday mornings

STARTS: Wednesday, March 7th (info session)

ENDS: Saturday, May 12th


6:30 pm (Wed) & 9:00 am (Sat)


First session at HIM Office (310-1033 Davie Street)

All other sessions are outside

To sign up, please email register@checkhimout.ca or call (604) 488-1001.


For some people, the gym can be an exercise in monotony. Hours spent on stationary cardio machines and waiting for a pair of 15 lb dumbells can really wear a person out.

So, why not wrap your hands around something rock hard or stick your fingers into a tight crack instead?

Following the success of HIM's GET A GRIP introductory rock climbing workshop, we're collaborating with our friends at Routes & Fruits (Vancouver's LGBT rock climbing group) for another introduction to indoor rock climbing (climbing wall) session. These sessions are designed for absolute beginners or guys with minimum experience and lots of energy. It's a great way to get some physical exercise, meet amazing new people, and learn new skills.

Gym admission cost is $18.00 (before taxes) which includes free rental of a (climbing) harness and shoes. The Vancouver Rock Climbing Group (www.vrcg.ca) will provide experienced volunteers who will guide and help you in this vertical experience!


Friday, March 9th 2012, 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm


Cliffhanger Gym

670 Industrial Avenue, Vancouver

To register email register@checkhimout.ca or call (604) 488-1001.


Thanks to all the volunteers and HIM supporters for helping out and dropping by at our outreach events at U.B.C., Langara, and WinterPride in Whistler last week.

Congratulations to Thomas Egli for being crowned for Mr. Gay Canada 2012, and to all delegates taking time to drop by our HIM Wellness Centre during WinterPride.

Be sure to check out our HIM Facebook gallery for additional photos.

Founded in 2008, the Mission of HIM is to strengthen gay men's health and well-being through trusted, tailored, targeted research-based health promotion services and by engaging the community through volunteer involvement, online access and events. We foster mutually beneficial relationships among gay men and health professionals to ensure the best possible outcomes. We also operate the HIM Sexual Health Centres where gay men can access STI and HIV testing, peer support, and professional counselling services.


Monday, February 13, 2012

Monday Condom Packaging Volunteers (every 2nd Monday) – February 13th 2012

Join the guys at HIM on Monday nights (TONIGHT) as our team of dedicated volunteers packages condoms and lube for distribution to gay guys. This social group is known for its lively conversation and free meals from our donors.

The group runs 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm on Monday nights at the HIM Offices, 310-1033 Davie Street.

You can drop in or let us know you're coming by emailing daniel@checkhimout.ca.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Webcam and Internet Safety (Courtesy of Trade Secrets)

Webcam and Internet Safety

Some webcam entertainers work in an office setting with a computer and a bed in each room.
To prevent an exchange of bodily fluids from previous workers:

  • Put your own plastic cover on keyboard.
  • Bring Lysol disinfectant spray to spray on office phones used communally for webcam with phone sex shows.
  • Bring your own clean sheets and bedding to your cubicle.
  • Bring lots of your own toys and costumes. Cover toys with condoms if you are sharing.
It’s easy to be "on" for long periods of time, especially if you are in the comfort of your own home. But it's still a job and can be physically, mentally and emotionally draining. Take breaks. Set regular hours for yourself. Be prepared for busy times and slow times. Pace yourself. Watch your posture. Drink water. Eat meals. Get enough sleep.

Many webcam clients live in remote areas with few sex workers, so the only way they can get workers to visit them is if they pay all the costs. If a webcam client wants to send you money to travel somewhere for an actual live sex work session, take as many precautions as possible. Make them pay up front, give you their real names, and pay for your accommodations.

Internet Safety

If you are running a web service of any kind from home, make sure you have a firewall and an antivirus system to protect yourself from hackers.

If you are using wireless Internet in your home, make sure it is secure. Others can easily log onto unsecured wireless Internet connections and post information on the Internet that would lead back to you. You don’t want police showing up to your dungeon because of someone else’s actions.

As anyone can look up the owner of a web site domain name, it's also wise to make sure that your personal information posted is either blocked (with a third party service) or uses a P.O. Box address. Sometimes your web host company will replace your contact information with theirs. Just tell them that you are concerned about your personal information being available to the public.

Although there are tricks to make it difficult for others to copy your photographs from websites, there is really no foolproof way of doing it. Clients can easily do screen captures of anything they see on the Internet.

Masking an IP Address
By Parched Mosquito

You can mask an IP address by placing a middleman computer between yourself and the "Internet." The most common way of doing this is to use a household router. A common router is a stripped down computer that handles all Internet traffic to and from your house before your Internet service provider sees it. Your individual computers connected to the router are not visible to others on the Internet, but the router itself is.

To move this into a context that could hide your webcam traffic, you would need to place a computer on the Internet that can do two things:

NAT (this is what your router does) and VPN. VPN is a secure connection between computers, across networks and media (media meaning transmission media like wires, fibre optics, and such).

After setting up a middleman computer, you use VPN to securely connect to the middleman computer. The middleman then translates your IP address and network requests between the communicating computers. In the case of the webcam, the broadcaster and receiver.

However, this will not prevent some people, such as "the authorities" from discovering your computer trail. But it will stop most "script kiddie hackers" in their tracks.

Most freely available versions of Linux can act as this so called middleman computer. Windows (server) can also do this, but it costs money.

At the very least, place a router between you and the Internet and turn on all the security settings. That way, the only information someone might get from you is what the Internet service provider can provide, i.e. subscriber info.

It is possible to break into these routers, which is why you can setup your own "router" using a dedicated Linux system computer. Very, very secure. But not for everyone as it requires in depth knowledge of network protocols, topology and Linux.

Ensuring Your Computer is Secure
By Thomas Covenant

This article is divided in two sections:

1. The threats you face and why you want to secure your computer
2. An easy to implement approach to give you some security.

Legal Disclaimer: The information provided is general and intended for “newbies." The discussion is current as of November 2009. It is impossible to have a totally secure system so it is critical to have your important files backed up.

(Read More)