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HIV among middle-aged men tackled

Mon 30 May 2005 In: New Zealand Daily News

In response to the alarming number of middle-aged gay and bisexual men contracting HIV, the AIDS Foundation has launched a groundbreaking new health promotion campaign to target the forty-pluses. The Cocksure programme was launched at the Out Takes film festival in Auckland last week, and will involve a involve a series of nationwide workshops addressing issues such as body image, ageism, drug use, internet hook-ups, sexual health, and finding/identifying "community". These are areas of concern identified by middle-aged men not just in New Zealand, but worldwide, says Douglas Jenkin, the AIDS Foundation's Gay Men's Health co-ordinator. "The Foundation hosted a series of community forums last year asking what people thought was driving the increase and what could be done about it," he says. "Those forums were surprised to learn that the average age of new infections amongst MSM was 39. This promoted a lot of debate about aging and ageism in the gay community and the lack of positive images and HIV prevention resources of and for older men." The workshops will start touring New Zealand in late July/early August, with a supporting campaign to reach as many men as possible. The campaign and workshops aim to help men discuss these issues, learn skills to overcome problems, improve their self esteem around age and body image and develop assertiveness around ensuring that their intimate encounters are what they want and are safe.    

Credit: News Staff

First published: Monday, 30th May 2005 - 12:00pm

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