Remembering David Stuart

20th January 2022

David Stuart the substance use lead at 56 Dean Street, the pioneering sexual health service for men who have sex with men, died earlier this month.

David is remembered and will be missed by colleagues at Scottish Drugs Forum who hosted events for which David enthusiastically accepted invitations to participate and present.

David’s commitment meant that he was a professional, an activist and an advocate. And all of these at once.

Here Katy MacLeod, Programme Manager at SDF, remembers a colleague and friend.

“David truly put the A in activist. In particular in his work around chemsex, he managed to raise awareness of the issue on a global scale in a sensitive, non-judgemental and informed way which was crucial to the substance use and sexual health sectors who until fairly recently had very limited understanding of chemsex.

David was instrumental in informing SDF’s early research and training work on chemsex and was incredibly supportive of our work, indeed speaking at one of our first events on the topic and always at the end of an email or phone to offer advice. He had a unique ability in instilling confidence in others about how to better support men who have sex with men within services and was able to challenge stigma in a direct yet respectful and humorous manner that encouraged workers to change their practice.

“On a personal level, David was a kind, compassionate and incredibly warm person. He would offer help whenever he could whether that was offering support or advice to whoever asked. His impact on the sector and in the lives of so many will be felt well beyond his passing and he leaves a rich legacy of reducing harm and ultimately saving lives within the LGBTQ+ community.”

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