Just because you're gay and over 40 doesn't mean you're sexually unattractive or "over the hill" says a new innovative health campaign by the New Zealand AIDS Foundation's Gay Men's Health programme that is being launched in Christchurch this Saturday. The Foundation is breaking new health promotion ground with Cocksure, Aotearoa New Zealand's first ever HIV prevention and men's health promotion campaign designed for gay, bisexual, and other men-who-have-sex-with-men (MSM) aged 40 and over. Posing the question: “Does life begin at 40?” the campaign says the answer is “yes” if you're "Cocksure." While motivated by higher HIV rates among older MSM within New Zealand, the workshop will be far more comprehensive than just discussing safe sex. Issues such as body image and self-esteem, finding partners, the difference between sex and intimacy, erection problems and ageism will be discussed in a safe, inclusive and non-judgemental forum. Says Douglas Jenkin, Gay Men's Health coordinator: "As part of the response to the record levels of new HIV diagnoses in New Zealand in 2003 and 2004, including a 39% increase among MSM from 2002, 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. "Those forums were surprised to learn that the average age of new infections amongst MSM was 39, men who have heard the HIV prevention message many times. "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 and their associated resources aim to redress that balance." Jenkin says men interested in attending the workshop can contact the NZAF's Ettie Routt centre in Christchurch.
Credit: NZ AIDS Foundation
First published: Thursday, 18th August 2005 - 12:00pm
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