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Gay community asked to design HIV campaign

56 Dean Street clinic in London are running a competition to create their next campaign
56 Dean Street's last community-generated advert, saying undiagnosed HIV can be a death penalty, proved controversial.

Members of the gay community are being asked to design advertisements to spread awareness of HIV.

The 56 Dean Street clinic in Soho, London's gay district, is asking for the adverts to increase HIV and sexual health awareness.

Messages provided by the campaign include the fact that 80% of HIV is caught from someone who doesn't know they have it, and that studies show that less than a quarter of gay men have tested for HIV for the last 12 months.

A previous campaign by the clinic earlier in the year saw Stephen Fry asking for members of the public to submit their designs on a campaign to help reduce HIV infection and encourage safe sex amongst gay and bisexual men.

The winner, which featured a gay gym-goer in an electric chair to warn undiagnosed HIV can be a death sentence, proved controversial.

Dr Alan McOwan, service director at 56 Dean Street, said: 'There is new information about how HIV gets transmitted in gay men. The healthcare system's biggest challenge is getting this information across to the people that need to hear it in the most effective way possible.

'We want the community to help us explain the facts to people.'

Finalists will be short listed by the Community Campaign's expert panel, then will be taken to a public vote on Facebook. The winning advert will be used online and in print.

Submission for entries are currently being taken. The competition will close on 15 February, and the public will be able to vote in March. 

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