GMFA launches new HIV campaign targeting gay men in their teens and twenties

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Gay men’s health charity GMFA has launched a new campaign focused on raising awareness of HIV for gay men in their teens and twenties.

Research shows a third of gay men diagnosed with HIV in 2012 were in the age bracket.

GMFA conducted a number of focus groups with young gay men to see why infection rates were so high in this group.

It found that many young gay men thought the virus was unlikely to affect them, with some thinking that there was already a cure for HIV.

GMFA’s Chief Executive Matthew Hodson said: “If we are going to avoid a generation of gay men getting infected it’s important that we persuade young gay men to think again about HIV, to reconsider some of the things that they think they know, to arm themselves with the information and the skills they need to prevent transmission.”

He added: “From the research that we did it was clear that what young gay men need from HIV prevention and information campaigns is different from what some other groups of gay men need. With HIV prevention, just as with condoms, it’s not the case that one size fits all. GMFA’s next campaign will be targeting men who are involved in the sex party scene and we’ve got exciting plans to do work with other key groups too.”

As part of the campaign, GMFA “Think Again” posters will be distributed to gay pubs and clubs through London, including Vauxhall, Clapham, Shoreditch and Soho.

Wednesday marked exactly thirty years since discovery of HIV.

The National AIDS Trust published research showing those aged between 16-24 consistently knew less about the virus than men aged 25-54.