Testing, Too Easy
Wills Logue gives us the low-down on a new peer-driven campaign to encourage young MSM to get sexual health tests.
The AIDS Council of South Australia (ACSA), in partnership with SHine SA and The Second Story Youth Health Services, have responded to the decline in STI/HIV sexual health screening in men under 30 by developing a peer-led STI/HIV testing campaign.
Since 2003 there have been significant downward trends in the proportions of men having HIV/STI tests, as reported in the annual Adelaide Gay Men’s Periodic Survey.
The collaboration of South Australia’s leading sexual health organisations resulted in the successful recruitment of ten young men from the metro–Adelaide region, to develop and produce an HIV/STI testing video clip.
ACSA commissioned Andy Petrusevics, a well-known community filmmaker, to conduct a number of workshops over a ten-week period with the 10 young men at ACSA’s Eton Road office.
During this time the young men identified some of the reasons why younger gay, bisexual and MSM (Men who have Sex with Men) do not regularly test for HIV/STIs.
They developed a script and story line, and named the campaign ‘TESTING, too easy’.
On a cold Monday morning in June, we gathered for a 12-hour day of filming. Four of the guys were front of camera whilst the others assisted in make-up, costumes and supporting the cameraperson.
Andy, in consultation with the group, edited the footage down to a seven-minute video clip. We have produced a montage of the clip which shows the journey taken by each of our four characters.
ACSA, SHine SA and The Second Story warmly invite you to the community launch of this campaign on Sunday August 19 at VONNI’S BIG ARVO, The Light Hotel, 141 Currie Street, from 6:30pm. Come to meet the guys who developed and starred in this first of many peer-led health campaigns.
If you are busy or snuggled up on your sofa on Sunday the August 19, please support us by logging on to ACSA’s YouTube channel and viewing the clip. Don’t forget to share with your mates!
Pictured: Brandon, Cammie, Brodie, Joshua, Dale, Brett and Ashton. Photo by Ian Buckland.