Aims of Hein & Fiete’s Prevention Work
Hein & Fiete is a target group-specific primary prevention project for gay men, bisexual men and men who have sex with men (MSM).
We are guided by the principles of structural prevention which is aimed at connecting behaviour oriented and condition oriented prevention. The structural prevention approach is essential because individual behaviour is always highly influenced by personal circumstances.
Consequently, our work focuses on 1) the reduction of social and environmental discrimination due to the sexual orientation of MSM, 2) the facilitation of a sense of gay community and 3) the emancipation of MSM within their individual work environments.
Before each infection, there is the infection risk. It is our endeavour to help obviating this risk. Hein & Fiete works according to the principles of structural prevention which take into consideration that primary-, secondary-, and tertiary prevention are closely interconnected.
The faster the rate of new infections increases (i.e. the weaker the first link of the prevention chain is) the heavier is the workload for the second and third chain links. If the first chain link cracks, the other links imminently face increased demands. For this reason, primary prevention ranks first. Our aims are:
- To promote and preserve health for MSM
- To decrease new HIV infections in Hamburg
- To decrease the spread of other Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) in MSM in Hamburg
- To promote effective safety behaviours, in particular with regard to epidemiologically important, high-risk situations
- To increase MSM’s levels of information about a) risks of contracting HIV / STDs and b) effective safer sex behaviours
- To reduce social and environmental discrimination due to the sexual orientation of MSM, to facilitate a sense of gay community and to emancipate MSM in individual work contexts
- To promote self-confidence in MSM to encourage informed decisions about sexual risks
- To increase MSM’s motivation to engage in safer sex behaviour
Hein & Fiete’s Concept of Man
Hein & Fiete’s concept of man relates to humanistic principles and closely adheres to human rights. We always respect human dignity, the right to individual emancipation, the right to anonymity and individual cultural backgrounds. We feel obligated to the principles of ahimsa and freedom of conscience and advocate the acceptance of diverse lifestyles.
In accordance with this position, everybody has the right and the duty to decide and act freely:
- Men have the freedom to choose their lifestyles, world views and religions
- Men can learn to realise, choose and act according to opportunities which are promoting their personal development
- This personal freedom ends where it limits someone else’s freedom, takes advantage of someone else’s weakness or betrays somebody’s trust
Hein & Fiete’s Concept of Health
Health is a basic human right. Health is understood as a state of wellbeing which is not only the absence of malady, but a combination of physical, psychological and social aspects. Analogous to the World Health Organisation (WHO), we understand all these different aspects of health to converge in everybody’s self-determined choice of their personal circumstances.
We respect and promote self-determination and personal maturity, particularly with regard to sexuality and health. Our work is inspired by the Ottawa-Charter (1986) and the different modes of living that it comprises in accordance with the WHO. We furthermore adhere to the guidelines of the “Deutsche Aids-Hilfe e.V. “ (DAH).
Hein & Fiete’s Self-Concept and Base of Work
According to our concepts of man and health, we understand prevention work as awareness training for each individual which is supposed to enable each person to take responsibility for his actions on the basis of broad comprehension about potential risks.
We centre our work among the sometimes conflicting priorities of an individual, his health and his lifestyle. Hein & Fiete therefore advocates structural prevention in the primary prevention sector HIV / AIDS and STDs for MSM.
Structural prevention considers both individual behaviour and the personal circumstances by which it is motivated. Consequently, we tailor our offers regarding health-conducive behaviour to the needs and modes of living of our target group. We promote self-help and self-organisation. We furthermore demand change in political and societal areas which impede the promotion of health.
Structural prevention consists of behaviour oriented and condition oriented prevention.
- Behaviour oriented prevention: 1) Communicating information about transmission paths of HIV and STDs, 2) Communicating information about sexual practices and related risks, 3) Promotion and support of health-maintaining behaviour and 4) Effective invigoration of self-protecting behaviour
- Condition oriented prevention: 1) Improving both personal and societal living conditions of MSM, 2) Promoting self-protecting behaviour, 3) Promoting acceptance of personal modes of living and self-confidence, 4) Supporting emancipation, 5) Networking and 6) Opposing discrimination.
Quality of Work
Our work is professionally based and coordinated in our profesionel team. Successful intervention work crucially depends on interventions which combine participatory approaches with the commitment of volunteers.
We act on professional principles which comprise knowledge about gay and bisexual modes of living, health expertise, creativity, open-mindedness and acceptance. We know how to motivate honorary workers and offer guidance and supervision of their work.
We work on the basis of jointly established principles and quality standards and promote ongoing qualification and training of both salaried and honorary workers. We consider ourselves to be a learning organisation. We constantly include new developments and skills into our work and are therefore able to offer up-to-date information. We furthermore influence our target-group via multipliers, i.e. honorary workers from a wide array of personal backgrounds. Our prevention activities are geared towards our target group and are various and sustained.
Due to the nature of our work and our systemic position within a more general societal context, limitations of our work affect the topics of racism and paedophilia.
- Racism: As an institution, we welcome everyone belonging to our target group – regardless of respective political, religious or ideological views. Hein & Fiete strictly rejects any vilification of a certain group or minority.
- Paedophilia: For the sake of protecting minors, we categorically reject paedophilia and do not offer contact or meeting areas.
Orientation towards Gay Lifestyles and Sexuality
It is of crucial importance to get insight into the diverse ways of how MSM live their lives and how gay lifestyles are changing. By constantly keeping up-to-date about gay diversity, we can gear our work towards various modes of gay living.
As sex is both an important factor in transmitting HIV and STDs and in expressing ones gay identity, prevention needs to include „Talking about Sex“. By openly addressing sexual behaviour, Hein & Fiete’s prevention work for HIV and STDs supports emancipation and strengthens the plurality of gay lifestyles – and hence the personal decision for safer sex. Emancipation is prevention!
Hein & Fiete and the Commitment of Volunteers
Hein & Fiete’s prevention work is based on the honorary commitment of gay and bisexual men. Hein & Fiete works on the principle of “peer involvement”. This means that members of the target group carry prevention messages back into their own respective groups. This guarantees a high degree of authenticity.
Our honorary workers stem from various gay scenes and permit Hein & Fiete to get or stay in contact with these scenes. Each honorary worker contributes to our work with his personal, individual personality and set of skills. It is exactly this diversity which enables us to carry our prevention message into different areas of gay life and to mirror the “gay world out there” through our diverse honorary workers.
Hein & Fiete’s Integration in Prevention Networks
Hein & Fiete is integrated in various Hamburg- and nationwide networks to contribute to mutual information exchange and to represent its interests.
We are a member of the DAH and the “Paritätischer Wohlfahrtsverband“ which consent to the shared use of both resources and infrastructure (e.g. information material and skill- enhancement programs). Hein & Fiete is closely interconnected with other prevention organisations in Germany and Hamburg. This allows the continuous monitoring of our work relative to other concerted prevention efforts and the identification of future developments that require well-timed reactions.
Furthermore, we closely collaborate with co-operation partners in the private and public sector which support our work significantly and contribute crucially to interventions and campaigns.