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Wednesday 08 April 2009

Safe Sex Poster Boys – In Their Own Words

Posted in: Safe Sex
By The NZ AIDS Foundation - 8th February 2008

Bear/leather man Roger Moore
The first campaign to feature the New Zealand AIDS Foundation's Safe Sex Poster Boys for Gay Men's Health begins this month, with a series of personal statements from the competition winners.

The poster boys, chosen by the communities they represent during a national competition held in 2007, will appear on bus shelters (in central Auckland), condom packs, banners, national advertisements online and in gay media.

"Each of the poster boys is speaking to his own segment of the community about safe sex, in language that is appropriate," says Douglas Jenkin, NZAF National Campaigns Co-ordinator.

Boy Next Door Josh Chapman
"This is about uniting the vast majority of gay and bisexual men who have told us in our research that they believe that condoms are OK as part of sex."

41-year-old Roger Moore, winner of the Bear/Leather category, represents an age group which currently has the highest rate of HIV diagnoses where infection occurred within New Zealand.

"I still get asked myself to have unsafe sex, and it's just a total ‘no' for me – why play around with your life?" Moore asks.

"Unfortunately, there's a lot of guys in my age group that seem to want to dice with their health and not use condoms."

Partyboy Christopher Olwage
In 2006 (the most recent statistics available at the time of press) the average age of gay and bisexual men infected with HIV in New Zealand was 38, with most (42%) falling into the 40-49 year age group.

"It might seem ironic that some men who saw the worst years of the HIV epidemic are abandoning consistent condom use, but there are various forces at work to undermine it," Jenkin says.

"These include the myth that HIV is now easily treated with few serious changes to your life and health.

Businessman Scott McDonald
"Also, the international popularity of bareback porn (gay pornography which depicts unprotected anal sex) is either downplaying risk or making it seem sexy."

An updated version of the Safe Sex Poster Boy website will feature the new campaign materials, plus new photographs and video from events such as the Big Gay Out and the Pink Flight to Sydney's Mardi Gras in March.

Here's what all six poster boys say on their posters:

Bear/Leather man Roger Moore

Alternative guy Munaam
"I LOVE SEX… I'm a down-to-earth guy and I love hot, hard sex. But I draw the line at barebacking."

"I DRAW THE LINE…at barebacking. I want to protect my health and the health of my partners."

Boy Next Door Josh Chapman

"PERSONAL EXPERIENCE… of HIV made me act on the safe sex message. My father was a gay man who passed away from AIDS."

Party Boy Christopher Olwage

"I LOVE MY BODY… I wouldn't want the heat of the moment to dictate the course of my life. That's why safe sex is important to me."

Businessman/Professional Scott McDonald

"I'M TAKING A STAND… Join me by adding ‘SAFE SEX ONLY' to your dating profile. It's the only way to protect yourself from HIV and other sexually transmitted infections."

Sportsman Liam Moir
Alternative guy Munaam

"GREAT SEX… can still be had using a condom. I don't want either of us to worry about HIV."

"MAXIMUM PLEASURE… can still be had using a condom. I don't want either of us to worry about HIV."

Sportsman Liam Moir

"MY PASSION IS RUGBY… Condoms are important to me because I value my health. Join me in the safe sex team."

The NZ AIDS Foundation - 8th February 2008