SFAF Unveils Campaign Targeted at Gay Men’s ‘Assumptions’ About Partners’ HIV Status
The San Francisco AIDS Foundation has launched the second phase of a "multi-year HIV prevention initiative" aimed at the San Francisco gay male community and focusing on the decision many of these men make to engage in unsafe sex based on assumptions about their partners' HIV status. Called, "How do you know what you know?" the campaign is based on studies performed by the SFAF, University of California-San Francisco's Center for AIDS Prevention Studies, the San Francisco Department of Public Health and the CDC. These studies show that many gay men assume their partner shares their own HIV status and will subsequently have unprotected anal intercourse, believing that no new infection can occur. According to SFAF Director of Prevention Services Brian Byrnes, "Studies tracking new infections in San Francisco indicate that the men most likely to get or pass on HIV engage in unprotected sex upon making the assumption that they and their sex partners share the same HIV status. This campaign aims to challenge those assumptions, to get men thinking about their sexual decision making and questions how they know what they assume they know." The campaign message will be featured on billboards, bus shelter ads, underground public transportation stops and public bathroom ads, as well as in magazine ads. The ads will also promote the SFAF's Gay Life Program's individual and couples counseling, small-group workshops and community events to provide men with the chance to discuss the complexities of sexual decision-making "twenty years into the epidemic." More information on the campaign is available on the SFAF Gay Life Web site at http://www.gaylife.org/ (SFAF release, 2/7).This is part of the Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.