"Through this project we are raising awareness of the fact that syphilis, human papillomavirus (HPV) and gonorrhea are common STIs in SA and using condoms can reduce transmission. Health4Men wants South Africa's men to have great sex, from top to bottom, and we want them to be responsible about it. So make the message viral, not the infections," says Glenn de Swardt, Programme Manager at Anova's Health4Men.
NATIVE VML Executive Creative Director, Ryan McManus, adds, "The easiest way to prevent getting an STI is by using a Health4Men coloured condom. That's why we decided to raise awareness of preventing STIs by using the actual condom as the message. By bringing STIs into the public consciousness with these giant tactical installations, it also made condoms easily accessible to the public. Through the simple act of taking a condom off the wall, the public did the rest, helping to make STIs disappear by choosing to protect themselves."
The first in a series of Cape Town activations was launched on 17 May on a wall across the road from the Biscuit Mill in Woodstock. Bearing the word "syphilis", the activation ran in the morning, with all of the 2236 condoms being removed by the public within two hours.
"The activation received great exposure across social media channels from passers-by who saw and interacted with the installation, and elicited a tremendously enthusiastic response from the public," says McManus.
A second set of activations planned for Johannesburg are also set to tie in with Health4Men's launch of a new web- and mobisite for their sexy new MSM site, PlayNice.
Find Health4Men on Facebook, and follow@H4Mtop2btm on Twitter for updates as to where the Condom Walls will be appearing next.
New treatments for Hepatitis C have been announced at the International AIDS Conference in Melbourne
One of the studies that looked at the efficiency of a new three-drug combination, which included ABT450, Ritonavir and an NS5A inhibitor, found 97 per cent of patients had no trace of Hepatitis C twelve weeks after treatment.
In the field of sexual health, harm reduction is often closely associated with the use of recreational drugs. We certainly can’t stop people from using street drugs and instead of moralising about it and making drug users feel alienated, we need to implement programmes designed to mitigate the harm associated with this behaviour. Such harm reduction programmes are certainly not new – their importance is recognised by international bodies such as the WHO, UNAIDS and USAID – but they’re certainly new to South Africa. Health4Men, a project of the Anova Health Institute, already at the forefront of providing innovative free sexual health services for gay and bisexual men, has initiated an innovative harm reduction programme in Cape Town.