Tributes pour for pioneering sexual health advocate David Stuart

News broke today that leading UK sexual health campaigner, support worker and researcher David Stuart has passed away and the ripples are being felt around the world.

Stuart had served as the Substance Misuse Lead at London’s world renowned HIV-specialist sexual health clinic 56 Dean Street for eight years, spreading his knowledge to global communities.

56 Dean Street shared the sad news online today, honouring Stuart’s work over the years.

“David is known and respected internationally for his tireless work with Gay, Bi and Queer communities which he did with passion, empathy and kindness,” the clinic published to Facebook.

“His work with our patients has undoubtedly saved many lives and his loss immeasurable.”

Stuart was also featured in the 2016 documentary Chemsex, where he shared his expertise of tackling the intersection of drug use and sex.

“Chemsex will inevitably go hand in hand with moral judgments, personal beliefs about problematic drug use vs non-problematic use, personal beliefs about what safe sex is, about the politics of sex-positivity etc etc,” Stuart told OUTinPerth in 2016.

“Some of this discussion will unravel some of the concepts we hold about gay life, gay sex and health promotion; and we may not be ready to be unraveled.”

“Sexual health clinics play a huge part in many gay men’s lives, and within our communities,” Stuart said of his work.

“We have to honor that responsibility, learn from the needs of our communities, especially during changing times like these – and be so much more than a clinic that picks up the pieces after mistakes have been made, but be fully participatory members of a thriving, changing community.”

David’s loss has been felt in queer and sexual health promotion circles around the world, including here in Australia.

Victoria’s LGBTQIA+ health organisation Thorne Harbour Health has joined HIV Ireland, Pride in London and The Institute of Many founder Nic Holas are just some of the organisations and individuals sharing how Stuart’s work had affected their work and lives.

“David’s love for his community drove everything he did,” Nic Holas said.

“Against all odds he fought to help queer people in London and around the world. Thinking of his family, his work family, and the many, many people whose lives he touched.”

OIP Staff


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