Prevention Brochure for Young Gay Men
"Author: Joachim Wohnhas, Swiss AIDS FoundationIssue: In 1990, the gay youth group declared that there was a complete lack of prevention material for young gays in Switzerland. Young people should get specific information about HIV before getting sexually activ. A prevention brochure was therefore urgently needed. In view of this situation, the Swiss AIDS Foundation conceived a project to produce and distribute a prevention brochure with information about , love and sex between men, HIV and Safer Sex.The Project: The project was launched in October 1990. The project team set up by the Swiss AIDS Foundation constisted of one professional co-ordinator, several voluntary members of the young gay community as well as advisers engaged in different areas of Aids prevention. Production time for the brochure was estimated to be four mouths. However, after an enthusiastic start, the realisation of the project soon proved to be difficult: disagreements between volunteers and professionals about the most effective approach to prevention; changes in the political climate: right wing politicians severely criticized and brought about a ban on an already published brochure for gay men, which - in their opinion - was not only obscene, but also an inappropriate means for the prevention of Aids; differences of opinion with the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health, for example about the question of how to illustrate the handling of a condom without using pictures. Due to these problems, the production of the brochure had to be delayed. After one year, the project team decided to finance the project without state aid which allowed us to work more efficiently. The completion of the final version, which has to be changed 27 times (!) before it could be sent to press, eventually took two years.Distribution: In October 1992, the brochure was presented at a press conference in Berne, and the response from the media was positive. As the funding had been private, the brochure was sold for Sfr. 5.00 (US$ 3.00). In collaboration with the biggest Swiss Kiosk Company, the brochure was made available country-wide at kiosks. It can also be ordered at any bookshop (ISBN). In order to reach as many young gay men as possible, special advertising posters were sent to educational and public health institutions as well as to gay meeting places. After six months, 5'000 brochures (half of the edition) were sold. Demand slowly decreased after this launching period. A vast majority of the people involved in this project felt satisfied with the result, and the brochure received a favorable reception among the Swiss gay population.Conclusions: Producing prevention material in collaboration with the target group itself may be difficult but this approach is essential to obtain a good result. The use of language to describe Safer Sex techniques posed the biggest problem: Whereas the project team maintained an open-minded approach, the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health condemned some of the statements as being . In contrast, the older members of the gay community objected that the pictures and the language used were not clear and outspoken enough. Most young gay men, however, felt attracted by the touch of the pictures. If a government does not support an anti-discriminatory policy towards the gay population of its country, we recommend to finance such projects privatly."
The poster presents a report on a project by the Swiss AIDS Foundation to print and distribute a brochure that provided young gay men with specific information about HIV. The report takes up two columns, illustrated with two photographs from the brochure.
AIDS Education Collection
AIDS (Disease)--CongressesAIDS (Disease)--ResearchGay menHuggingKissing
130.0cm x 80.0cm
University of Rochester, River Campus Libraries, Department of Rare Books, Special Collections & Preservation
[Item title, item date], AIDS Education Collection; Department of Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation; River Campus Libraries, University of Rochester.
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