United Kingdom: Safe Sex Drive Goes Undercover
January 23, 2004
Wigan Council in Greater Manchester has devised a safe-sex campaign featuring a poster of various pairs of underwear -- supposedly belonging to people with genital warts, syphilis and herpes -- with the slogan "You can't tell by looking who's been infected." Sexual health campaigners hope the hard-hitting message will encourage teenagers to use protection.
The council asked young offenders and local teens to come up with ideas to make sure the message reached its target audience. Alan Sherwood, the council's teenage pregnancy coordinator, said "It's really important that we listen to what young people want, especially when it comes to advice and information about sex and sexual health. We realized the best way to do this was by involving young people in the process and getting them to create something that would make other young people sit up and take notice."
Greater Manchester has the greatest prevalence of HIV, gonorrhea, chlamydia and other STDs in northwest England. Wigan council hopes its poster, the first in a series of advertisements over the next year, will help reduce the infection rate. HIV cases in Greater Manchester have reached record levels in the past four years. The regional public health observatory said 268 people were diagnosed with HIV in 2003, a 24 percent increase from 2001.
This article was provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update. Visit the CDC's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.