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METRO launches new HIV Campaign for men

23rd June 2013

A new HIV video campaign called Fck Equal, aimed at men who have sex with men (MSM), is launched today.

Fck Equal is an information campaign highlighting the increased risks of unprotected anal intercourse for receptive partners and calling on all men to reduce the risks and make sex equal by using condoms.

The campaign draws on international research that shows that receptive partners/'bottoms' are at least 7 times more likely to contract HIV through unprotected anal intercourse (UIA) than insertive partners/'tops'.

It also draws on METRO's own local research showing that over half of men surveyed did not know or were unsure whether or not there were increased risks for receptive partners in UIA. The figure increases to 56% of men engaging in more risky sexual behaviour.

The campaign involves a colourful video animation of cartoon bottoms and penises with the message that using condoms reduces risk and makes sex equal. The campaign is calling for safer sex equality between men to prevent HIV transmission including:
- equal access to information
- equal protection
- equal responsibility
- safer sex

Dr Greg Ussher, METRO's Deputy Chief Executive said:

As rates of HIV and other STI infection amongst men who have sex with men continue to rise, we need to ensure that men have all the information they need to make safer choices and to reduce the risk of transmission. Our local research tells us that a lot of men don't know that bottoms are so much more at risk and that not knowing can lead to riskier choices. We want all men to have equal access to information in a language that they understand, to have equal protection, and to take equal responsibility for safer sex through condom use. I urge all men to watch the video, to know the facts, Fck Equal and to be regularly tested. Safer sex is everyone's responsibility and only by working together will we halt the spread of HIV.

ENDS

Contact: Patricia Durr, Head of Policy, Communications & FR, patricia@metrocentreonline.org, 020 8305 5000, 07912515397

Notes:
1. International research about increased risks for receptive partners from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates the per-act probability of acquiring HIV from an infected source by exposure act
2. METRO local research is based on a sample of 476 men accessing HIV outreach services in the London Borough of Greenwich from June 2012-June 2013. Questions were asked as part of METRO's BASK assessment form. More information is available on request.
3. The Health Protection Agency reports new diagnoses of HIV among MSM have been increasing since 2007 with 3,010 reports in 2011, representing an all-time high
4. Recent data from Health Protection England shows that STI diagnosis amongst MSM continues to rise
5. For more information about the campaign. The video will be publicly available from 00:01 Monday 24th June 2013
6. The campaign is also supported by a ThunderClap which we are encouraging supporters to sign up to
7. June is recognised internationally as Men's Health Month providing a focus in the year to promote men's health and focus on specific health issues for men.

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