Terrence Higgins Trust has launched a new campaign today to try and increase gay men’s awareness of sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

The campaign includes adverts with images of sexy men in their underwear, but with visible signs of a STI – a sore, rash or discharge. The waistband of the underwear features the name of the infection. One of the images appears normal apart from ‘STI’ printed along the waistband, to highlight that some infections have no symptoms at all.

The adverts will be running in the gay press, with the strapline “Get it checked, Get back out there”. The campaign also includes a special edition of the magazine Exposed, posters for use in gay venues and condom packs and boxes of sweets branded with the imagery. The condoms and sweets will be given out by the Terrence Higgins Trust and other health promotion teams.

Will Nutland, Head of Health Promotion at Terrence Higgins Trust said “We hope the gorgeous men in our adverts will catch the eye and the more subtle STI symptoms will mean they read on. Obvious symptoms of STIs may appear to come and go but the actual infection can still be there. Levels of some STIs are high among gay men and if left untreated can cause long term health complications. There’s also the obvious risk of passing the infection on.”

The STIs focused on in the new campaign are syphilis, gonorrhoea, Chlamydia, NSU and herpes. The adverts offer support and information through the THT Direct or by logging onto www.chapsonline.org.uk/infections , a site aimed specifically at gay men.

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