June 15, 2012
Launched on June 12 by the city health department, San Francisco AIDS Foundation (SFAF) and others, the multimedia "Many Shades of Gay" campaign encourages gay and bisexual men to get tested for HIV regularly.
With a nod to the community's diversity, the campaign website allows visitors to pick and choose among diverse body shapes, clothing, and hairstyles to create a digital-world avatar. The user also is informed about the importance of regular HIV screening and can get help finding nearby testing sites. HIV-positive men can access health information and testing and care resources.
Those involved in the campaign "want to focus on how wonderful and diverse our community is, and communicate that -- regardless of who you are, where you come from, what you look like, or what you're into -- there's many ways to be gay, but you need to get an HIV test every six months," said James Loduca, an SFAF spokesperson.
Organizers have "worked hard in the past year to scale up the number of HIV tests offered throughout San Francisco, and Many Shades of Gay is the kind of bold, attention-getting campaign we need to increase demand for those tests," said Tracey Parker, acting director of HIV prevention at the health department.
The agency ATTIK provided free creative development for the campaign, SFAF said. To see the campaign website, visit: www.manyshadesofgay.org.