Date Published: 2 April 2010

Terrence Higgins Trust says 'It's Your Turn To Talk'

HIV and sexual health charity Terrence Higgins Trust (THT) is launching a groundbreaking new campaign this spring to encourage gay men to talk to each other about what they really think about sex.

THT has been a trusted voice, talking to the UK’s gay community about HIV, STIs and how to protect against them for nearly thirty years. The charity has focused its communications on gay publications, bars, clubs, saunas, and other places where gay men meet in a bid to raise awareness and fight the spread of HIV. As part of a new approach, THT is inviting gay men to join in the conversation online with the launch of the ‘It’s My Turn To Talk’ campaign at the end of March.

The campaign has been funded by the Department of Health through CHAPS, a partnership of community organisations, which are coordinated by THT and carry out HIV prevention work with gay men in England. It will launch a number of visually-striking adverts appearing in print and online media, on the London Underground, and in bars in major cities. All of the adverts will say ‘It’s My Turn To Talk’. Then, from 20th April to mid-May, an online forum will run at www.welisten.org.uk, where men can log on and talk frankly with each other about sex, HIV, and gay life.

Topics covered could range from condom use, to testing services, to gay life in 21st Century Britain. All information generated will be kept completely confidential. Once the forum is closed, THT will listen to the conversations, and the findings will be used to inform the charity’s future campaigns for gay men.

Men can register their interest in taking part from 31st March, and, as there will be space for 1,500 men in the chatrooms, the earlier men sign up, the more chance they have of being involved. Men will also be able to give their views via the ‘We Listen’ groups on Facebook and Twitter, and these conversations will also be used to inform THT’s future work.

Alan Wardle, Head of Health Promotion at THT, said:

While we’ve always ensured gay men are involved in our campaigns, this is the first time we’ve sparked a conversation with such large numbers. It’s also the first time we’ve used social media to listen.

For almost thirty years we’ve talked to men from all walks of life, but we are now asking gay men to join in on the conversation, to talk to each other about what matters to them, so we can continue to develop campaigns that will really have an impact on HIV. It’s vital to our work that we talk to gay men on their terms, and we are encouraging them to log on and tell us exactly what they think.

Source: Terrence Higgins Trust (THT)
http://www.tht.org.uk

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