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Porn actor Leander XXX has taken up the fight to end syphilis

Porn actor Leander XXX has taken up the fight to end syphilis

A leading London porn actor has thrown his weight behind a community driven campaign to do something about the rising cases of syphilis.

Leander XXX has joined forces with the PrEPster team to run an awareness campaign about the STI. In the past five years the number of people with syphilis has doubled in the UK. Gay and bisexual men have been most affected by this increase.

Syphilis is a bacterial infection caught when having sex with someone who has it. If left untreated it can lead to serious health complications and spread to the brain or other parts of the body.

PrEPster was the team who ran the massive awareness campaign about the HIV preventative medication, pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP).

It decided to put its experience of running essential sexual health campaigns into doing something about the rising numbers of syphilis diagnoses.

‘We have a model for how many people now know about PrEP and we want to extend that model to other sex health issues,’ PrEPster cofounder, Will Nutland told Gay Star News.

They chose to focus on syphilis first because of the long-term effects it can have on health. But also because it’s easy to test for and can be very preventable.

‘We’re seeing people turn up with quite serious health conditions but it’s easy to test for and treat and you don’t pass it on,’ Nutland said.

Long Time, No Syphilis

So they launched ‘Long Time, No Syphilis’ to help raise awareness about the STI and the serious health impacts it can have if left undiagnosed. But cuts to government funding have forced PrEPster to start a crowdfunding page to help pay for the campaign.

‘We’ve made attempts to get funding and they (government departments) say “we know it’s an issue but if we fund a project like this we can’t fund something else”,’ Nutland said.

While the lack of funding is frustrating, Nutland explained why it was important to support the campaign.

‘We shouldn’t have to ask… [but] the crowdfunding is a call to activism, to help and support community when the government has neglected us,’ he said.

‘The last campaign around syphilis was about 12 or 13 years ago, so we have a whole new generation who don’t know about syphilis.

‘We’re making a point that if government is neglecting us, we will look after ourselves.’

What do the funds pay for?

The main aim of the campaign is to educate those at risk of acquiring syphilis.

PrEPster hopes to do that by creating website with everything to know about syphilis. It also wants to plaster bars and venues with information and flyers. PrEPster will also send outreach workers out to talk to people about syphilis.

‘Every penny raised through the crowdfunder will go to cover the web build, the photography, print and design of the programme,’ PrEPster wrote on the crowdfunding page.

‘We’ll use the funding to ensure that people know how and where to get tested for syphilis.’

Donate to Long Time, No Syphilis here.

See also

Why you can’t put rising rates of gonorrhea and syphilis just down to PrEP 

8 out of 10 syphilis cases in Scotland involve gay and bisexual men 

Men who have sex with men account for over 80% of syphilis infection rates in the US