Terrence Higgins Trust South launched The Facts! campaign last month after consultation with men in the community and members of the Gay Business Forum. Gay men consistently underestimate the numbers of people with HIV, significantly underestimate their likelihood of having sex with someone who has HIV, and many men imagine there is very little HIV in their social circles. In February 2004 researchers conducted HIV research among gay amd bisexual men in gay venues in Brighton & Hove, Manchester and London. They used a saliva test for HIV, new technology which gave a snapshot of HIV prevalence on the gay scene. In Brighton & Hove over 400 gay and bisexual men took an anonymous test and answered questions about their sexual behaviour.
Key findings for Brighton & Hove:
- 13.7% had HIV (almost one in eight).
- 33% (one third) of the men with HIV did not know they had it.
- 48.9% of all negative men had fucked, or been fucked, without a condom at least once in the last 12 months.
The results for the studies in Manchester and London were very similar. The Facts!campaign aims to pass this information onto gay men. This will enable sexually active men to understand the true picture of the environment in which they are living, and to make informed decisions about the safety of their sex.
None of the safer-sex health promotion efforts of the last 20 years would have been possible without the active participation of the gay community. Your support for this campaign will enable gay and bisexual men to become aware of accurate information that is highly relevant to their lives.
Story from Gay Times - www.gaytimes.co.uk