Online sexual health game reminds men of STI screening advice

Stephen Gray April 24, 2012
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HIV and sexual health charity Terrence Higgins Trust has launched a free game on Facebook to remind men of the link between bed-hopping and sexual health.

In a game of ‘Man Up’, players bounce between brightly coloured beds without either falling off the screen or being knocked off by a ‘love bug’.

The higher they bounce, the more points they receive. Points, however, can only be banked through a visit to the floating clinic.

At key stages in the game, the player receives messages containing facts relating to sexual health, including how STIs are transmitted and guidance on how often to test for them.

The game also includes links to website with further sexual health information, and a clinic finder with details of players’ nearest screening service.

Man Up is part of a national campaign funded by the Department of Health through CHAPS, a partnership of community organisations coordinated by Terrence Higgins Trust.

The campaign is designed to publicise the link between partner numbers, STI risk, and the need for gay men to check for infections more frequently.

It will run until July 2012, but the Man Up will be available on Facebook for a year from now by following this link.

Cary James, Head of Programmes at Terrence Higgins Trust, said: “It’s best for gay men to go for an STI screen at least once every six months. If you’re having lots of different sexual partners, it’s a good idea to go more often. The sooner you find out you have a sexually transmitted infection (including HIV), the better.

“Finding out earlier makes it easier to treat and avoids any long term problems. When asked, nine out of 10 gay men said they would recommend the last sexual health clinic they visited to a friend, so there’s no reason to put off that clinic visit any longer.”

More: Facebook, game, sexual health, STI, Terrence Higgins Trust, UK, video game

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