The gay community is broad and diverse. The main drivers of HIV infection may be simple to describe but the way that they pervade gay men’s lives and thinking is involved and complex. If we as a community are serious about stopping the spread of HIV in gay men, we must be serious about tackling these complex and difficult issues.
This World AIDS Day, GMFA’s ‘Count Me In’ campaign is asking other organisations concerned with gay men’s health, the gay media, and community leaders to join us in committing to tackle these issues head on. The work will not be easy or straightforward, and some messages may be difficult to hear. However, if we want a change in the health of our community, this is the road we must travel.
The campaign is asking gay men to join this campaign and commit to stop the spread of HIV by agreeing to this five-point action plan:
I will know my HIV status
I will not assume I know someone else’s HIV status
I will take personal responsibility for using condoms
I will value myself and my health
I will stay informed about HIV and how it’s spread
If every gay man in the world commits to each of these, we can significantly reduce the spread of HIV in our community.
GMFA’s goal for the ‘Count Me In’ campaign is to move towards a point where we all, as gay men, are confident and empowered to take responsibility for our own health, where we are supportive of each other and we can openly discuss issues such as HIV status and safer sex without fear or stigma, and where the barriers to effective condom use are overcome. By working together to achieve this, we can prevent new infections and make a real difference to the wellbeing of our community.