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New safe sex info service a text success

Fri 30 Mar 2007 In: New Zealand Daily News

“Are you more, or less, likely to get HIV if you're a top?” gay Aucklander Colin Duffin, 20, texted the new ‘Safe Sex Texting' service one evening last week. The answer came back in a reply text early the following day: “There is the same risk for tops and bottoms if having unprotected sex. Always use condoms and waterbased lube for anal sex.” Getting the facts on his phone was useful, says Duffin. “I'd always thought you more susceptible to gain it if you are the receptive partner in the relationship.” Texting questions about safe sex to 3535 will get a personalised response from a ‘Gay Men's Health' health promoter within 24 hours. Free condom and lube packs and HIV testing location details are also available via the service. “There was a delay before the reply, but eventually when the message came, it was useful information,” Duffin says. “It's a really good idea. Especially if you're not in the position to be very open about your sexuality. It's quite discrete.” Gay Men's Health Team Co-ordinator Douglas Jenkin says well over 500 texts have been received since the launch of the service last month. Common texts involve condom requests, HIV and other STI testing locations, and questions about HIV risk and sex - particularly oral sex. “Oral sex is low risk for HIV, assuming you have a healthy mouth without broken skin,” Jenkin advises. The Gay Men's Health team will promote the texting service at a special event at Christchurch's CRUZ nightclub on Saturday 7th April.     Ref: (m)

Credit: News Staff

First published: Friday, 30th March 2007 - 12:00pm

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