‘Don’t leave it to chance’ – Launch of Rainbow Project Sexual Health Campaign targeted at Men who have Sex with Men in Northern Ireland

‘Don’t leave it to chance’ – Launch of Rainbow Project Sexual Health Campaign targeted at Men who have Sex with Men in Northern Ireland’

 

PHAPicture1The Rainbow Project have launched a new Sexual Health Campaign entitled ‘Don’t leave it to chance’, supported by the Public Health Agency (PHA). The campaign aims to raise awareness of the increase of Gonorrhoea, Syphilis and HIV in Men who have Sex with Men (MSM) in Northern Ireland.

The campaign will be launched at the 19th Regional Annual Sexual Health Conference in Armagh City Hotel, on Wednesday 20th November and will be promoted through social networking sites, dating sites, peer and social support services. We will deliver a high visibility publicity campaign targeted at clubs and venues associated with the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and/or Transgendered community which will run throughout November to March with coverage at the annual World AIDS Day Conference, December 2nd, in Limavady’s Roe Valley Arts and Cultural Centre, and during the Northern Ireland Sexual Health week, 10th – 15th February 2014.

Speaking about the campaign, The Rainbow Project’s Sexual Health Development Officer James Copeland said ‘Men who have Sex with Men remain disproportionately affected by Sexually Transmitted Infections and HIV. The message we are raising today is that Men who have Sex with Men need to continue to consistently wear condoms and use water or silicone based lubricant to prevent the spread of STIs and HIV. We want to remind Men who have Sex with Men that HIV has not gone away and that co-infection with Syphilis, Gonorrhoea and other STIs can increase your chances of contracting HIV. Additionally Men who have Sex with Men, just like other communities, need to continue to test at least once a year or every three months if changing partners on a regular basis.

Dr. Bernadette Cullen, Consultant in Public Health, from the Public Health Agency added   ‘This is an important campaign which aims to raise awareness of the increase of Gonorrhoea, Syphilis and HIV in men who have sex with men (MSM) in Northern Ireland. We want to raise an awareness of the need to reduce sexual risk taking behaviours and encourage personal responsibility and safer sex.’





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