SAN FRANCISCO: AIDS Education Campaign Targets ‘Sexual Assumptions’
In the light of recent studies showing a surge in unprotected anal intercourse among gay men in San Francisco, the San Francisco AIDS Foundation has unveiled a multi-year HIV prevention initiative focusing on the assumptions gay men may make about the HIV status of their sexual partners. The campaign, which uses "How do you know what you know?" as its theme, features advertisements in bus shelters and magazines. "This campaign brings the difficult issue of sexual assumptions out in the open," said Joe Headlee, director of the foundation's prevention program. "The assumptions campaign aims to promote thought, to get men thinking about their sexual decision making and to question how they know what they assume they know," he added. Of the nearly 500 new HIV cases in San Francisco each year, approximately 70% occur among gay men. Recent surveys of San Francisco gay men found that nearly half reported having unprotected anal intercourse within the previous year, and up to 68% of those men said they did not always know the HIV status of their sexual partners. Headlee added, "Gay men have made enormous, unprecedented strides in reducing HIV transmission. This campaign builds on that success" (San Francisco AIDS Foundation release, 10/13).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.