HIV and sexual health charity Terrence Higgins Trust launches a nationwide poster campaign today, urging gay and bisexual men to use condoms during sex.
The campaign focuses on promoting awareness of, and access to, condoms through online media, posters at gay businesses and through providing condoms free of charge to men on the gay scene.
The Trust says one in four of the men on the gay scene remains undiagnosed and therefore more likely to pass the virus on, and has called for the private sector and individuals to renew focus on condom use.
The campaign, launched ahead of World AIDS Day next week, features eight gay men, from a Soho bar manager to a rugby player with the Kings Cross Steelers, on why they use condoms during sex.
It will run on print and online press advertisements, and on posters and 100,000 condom packs to be distributed to gay venues across the country.
‘Clever Dick / Smart Arse’ is funded by the Department of Health through CHAPS, a partnership of community organisations, which is coordinated by THT and carries out HIV prevention work with gay men in England.
The campaign also features a SexScore survey at www.clever-dick.org, where gay and bisexual men can receive information on how risky their sex lives are currently, and advice on how to minimise exposure in future.
Respondents can enter a draw to win an iPad 2 and one of ten pairs of Monkee Jeans.
Ben Tunstall, Head of Health Promotion at THT, said: “At THT, we’ve been talking about condoms for almost thirty years. But our oldest message is also our most important: when you’re having sex, condoms are the best way to guard against HIV.
“How much do you know about the guy you just picked up? How confident are you that you know his HIV status? With the vast majority of new infections passed on by people who don’t know they have it, the chances are he may not know himself.
“Thirty years on from the start of the epidemic, condoms are still the best way to protect not just your health but also your peace of mind. We want everyone on the gay scene to get behind this campaign – putting up posters in venues, picking up our condom packs, or just talking to their mates about safer sex – and help us reduce the spread of HIV in our community.”
If you are a business owner and would like to request posters or other materials, please email [email protected]