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HIV prevention: How do you do it?

HIV prevention: How do you do it?

There are now a lot of ways to prevent HIV.

A new campaign wants to raise awareness about new approaches to HIV prevention that don’t always involve condoms.

One of Australia’s leading LGBTI health services, ACON, today launched ‘How Do You Do It?’.

The campaign aims to educate men who have sex with men about new biomedical options that sit alongside condoms as effective methods of preventing HIV transmission.

These include PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) and UVL (undetectable viral load).

‘Condoms have been and remain a very effective, accessible and cheap barrier to HIV transmission and so still have a vital role to play in terms of HIV and STI prevention,’ said ACON CEO Nicolas Parkhill.

‘However, If a person is HIV negative, they can now take PrEP, an antiretroviral drug that prevents HIV negative people from becoming infected.

‘And if a person is HIV positive, it’s now proven beyond doubt that HIV treatments can help reduce that person’s viral load to an undetectable level, making it almost impossible to transmit the virus.’

How do you do it?

The cheeky campaign features a range of community members, promotes the three different safe sex options by asking the question: ‘How do you do it?’

For people who choose to use condoms, the answer could be ‘I do it all the time’, for people who choose to take daily doses of PrEP the answer could be ‘I do it every day’ and for people who choose to maintain UVL through HIV treatment the answer could be ‘I do it with my doctor’.

‘Of course there’s a range of important provisos attached to both of these bio medical approaches in relation to effectiveness, side effects, access, and affordability,’ Parkhill said.

‘But the important message is there’s no longer a one size fits all approach to safe sex. We can now choose from a range of strategies – condoms, PrEP or UVL – to maximise sexual pleasure while protecting ourselves and our partners from HIV.

‘Having these options is a tremendously exciting development in terms of HIV prevention because by combining their use we may be able to deliver the biggest reduction in HIV transmission rates in NSW in decades and move closer to our goal of virtually ending HIV transmission in NSW by 2020.’

Launched to coincide with the start of this year’s Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Festival, the campaign will feature on several buses travelling on some of Sydney’s most prominent routes.

A group of Uber driver-partners in Sydney have volunteered to get their private vehicles wrapped with the campaign artwork for the next three weeks to help raise community awareness.

Watch the cheeky video below: