Queer community mourns the loss of sexual health activist David Stuart

David is known for his work within the sexual health industry, particularly focusing on GBMSM and their relationship with sex and drugs.

The late David Stuart poses for a selfie.
Image: Instagram: @DavidaStuart

GCN reports with great sadness that LGBTQ+ activist David Stuart has passed away. The news was confirmed on Wednesday, January 12, through the social media of David’s workplace, 56 Dean Street.

David was known, respected, and loved internationally for his relentless work within the LGBTQ+ sexual health industry. He is thought to have been the first person to coin the term ‘chemsex’, and dedicated much of his life to work and activism in this area. 

At the time of his death, he was the Substance Misuse Lead specialising in Chemsex in Europe’s largest sexual health and HIV service, 56 Dean Steet. The organisation released the following statement announcing his passing.

“It is with great sadness that we announce the sudden death of our colleague and friend David Stuart.

“David has worked at 56 Dean Street for the last 8 years […] He has been pioneering in his work and has dedicated his time as an advocate, activist, support worker, campaigner, lecturer and researcher.

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

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


Members of the queer community have been responding to the sad news today with HIV Ireland’s Adam Shanley tweeting: “David was a warm and authentic person who offered an abundance of compassion to everyone he met. He was a pioneer in his work with gay men and their relationship with sex and drugs.

“He was not only a mentor to me, encouraging me from the very early days of my activism but he was also a dear friend. His caring and compassionate approach has saved the lives of countless gay men – he made an immeasurable impact on our community. I will miss him.”

In April 2020, David Stuart appeared on an episode of GCN’s In and Out series where his passion and knowledge were invaluable to the conversation. He will always be remembered for the strides he made on behalf of LGBTQ+ folk, and his impact is boundless.

To read more about the life of this incredible activist, visit his website where he tells the story beautifully and in his own words.

“I don’t know how I got here, but I honour the bizarreness of the position I find myself in, and I thank every single brilliant person who contributes to my awareness and experience, to my travels and (mostly) to the immense and very personal human experience that might be being shared with me at any given moment, somewhere on this diverse planet. You know who you are; you know I love you, and I thank you.” – David Stuart. Rest in Power.

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