Gay Health Action (GHA)

Dublin Core


Gay Health Action (GHA)


AIDS (Disease)
HIV (Viruses)
AIDS organisations
AIDS information centres
AIDS activists
Safer sex
Safe sex in AIDS prevention
AIDS Awareness
AIDS education
LGBTQ+ health education


Gay Health Action (GHA) was Ireland's first AIDS activist organisation. Founded in January 1985 to combat growing concerns about the presence of AIDS in Ireland, it became the locus of information about HIV and AIDS. Lesbian Health Action, a sister group, was also established to work on the health issues in the lesbian community. GHA played a leading role in the establishment of AIDS Action Alliance, Cairde and AIDS Helpline. They were also represented on the Roman Catholic Bishops' National Task Force On AIDS.

GHA's AIDS campaign focused on disseminating accurate, and often explicit, health information among the gay communities in Ireland. A prominent part of GHA's campaign was to modify the sexual behaviours of gay men through their publications. GHA adopted a harm reduction model that promoted "safer sex" and lower risk sexual practices. In May 1985, GHA published their first AIDS information leaflet. The first edition of GHA’s newspaper, AIDS Action News was published in 1987. GHA disbanded in 1990.


Arthur Leahy Collection


Digitising these community resources in a publicly accessible digital archive can be seen as fair dealing and reasonable use of these materials (as defined in the 2000 Irish Copyright Act) and in keeping with the ethos and purpose with which they were produced. In addition to this, Permission to Use has also been granted by the owners of the collections and by the relevant community organisations. Items in this digital archive are covered by a Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No-Derivatives License. Please credit Cork LGBT Archive and provide a link back to this site.





Collection Items

AIDS Information Leaflet 1 May 1985
The first Irish Information Leaflet on AIDS and on safe sex practices was produced by Gay Health Action Cork in May 1985. Information Leaflet 1.

Cork Gay Health Action Questionnaire
Gay Health Action Questionnaire on LGBT engagement with STD clinics in Ireland. 15 question one page questionnaire to be returned to a collection box in the Phoenix Club Cork or the Quay Co-op or to a P.O. Box in Cork

Gay Health Action Leaflet No 2 Play Safely
Gay Health Action Leaflet No 2. August 1985. Play Safely. a mother. Information on Gay Health Action and on forthcoming AIDS Conference in Dublin 17-18 August 1985.

1985 Gay Health Action Information
Information about Gay Health Action group which was formed in January 1985. Regular meeting of GHA held in Cork (weekly in Quay Co-op) and fortnightly in Dublin (Hirschfeld Centre). The information sheet marks the historic event of the GHA securing…

Gay Health Action Play Safe Cards
Two Play safe cards produced by Gay Health Action (Cork and Dublin) in 1985. Promoting safer sexual practice. Provides details of Safe, Possibly Risky and Very Risky sexual practices. Also includes contact details for Gay Information Services in…

AIDS Information Booklet
AIDS Information Booklet produced by Gay Health Action in Ireland in 1986. It provides information about Gay Health Action, about AIDS in Ireland and action to address AIDS. It also provides information on relevant organisations in Ireland.

1985/86 Letters Gay Health Action / Belfast Family Planning Association
Correspondence between Gay Health Action in Cork and The Family Planning Association in Belfast in relation to the AIDS Leaflet and Safe Sex cards produced in Cork in 1985. The Belfast group praised the AIDS Leaflet and requested more copies: "I've…

1986 Gay Health Action Press Release
1986 Press Release from Gay Health Action Ireland, publicising the production of the HTLV-3 Test Leaflet. It discusses how GHA has taken the initiative in disseminating accurate information on AIDS in Ireland. GHA "recognises the need for accurate…

1986 AIDS Leaflet
Revised version of the Irish AIDS Leaflet - original produced in 1985, revised version produced in 1986. The leaflet includes information about how AIDS is transmitted, how to practise safer sex, precautions regarding donating blood, and facts about…

Gay Health Action Condom Card
A condom card, detailing guidelines for condom use, tips on how to use. It includes the contact details for Gay Health Action.
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