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Dunedin HIV workshop targets older men

Tue 29 Aug 2006 In: New Zealand Daily News

An HIV workshop is being held in Dunedin, targeting middle-aged gay and bisexual men, who have been “overlooked” by previous HIV prevention resources, says the New Zealand AIDS Foundation. The “Cocksure” workshop is aimed at men over 40, who accounted for over one-third of New Zealand's 90 new HIV infections over the last year. “The workshop is about far more than just safe sex advice,” says NZAF South health promoter Brent Mitchell, who will facilitate the workshop. “We'll be covering issues like body image and self-esteem, finding partners, the difference between sex and intimacy, erection problems and ageism.” Last year saw the highest ever number of new HIV infections, and there are a number of reasons why so many older men are among those newly diagnosed, says Mitchell. “Gay and bisexual guys often don't have access to positive information about their sexuality and their bodies, especially older men who grew up in a more conservative generation, and may have come out later in life,” Mitchell says. “That can put these guys at risk of emotional and physical harm, including HIV.” The workshop is being held as part of Dunedin's Pride Week, of which the NZAF is a major sponsor. “Dunedin's gay community is really strong, as well as diverse. People like to celebrate in different ways, and there's going to be something for everyone,” Mitchell says. “We've been touring the ‘Cocksure' workshop around the South Island since 2005, and the response from men attending has been really positive.” The NZAF's Gay Men's Health unit is also running a workshop for younger guys, called “Nitty Gritties”, which includes issues such as drug and alcohol interactions, relationships, staying safe while hooking up both online and in person, and body image. Register with Brent Mitchell on 027 496 5427 or email Thursday 31 August COCKSURE – for men who have sex with men aged 40 and over. PH South, 57 Hanover Street, Dunedin at 6-9 pm. Friday 1 September NITTY GRITTIES – for men who have sex with men aged 18 – 25. Venue to be announced, time: 2-4pm.     Ref: (d)

Credit: News Staff

First published: Tuesday, 29th August 2006 - 12:00pm

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