Need support, need to talk? Call 1-800-243-7692
GMHC - Fight Aids. Love Life.

GMHC Urges Young Gay Men to "Kiss & Tell" Launch of New HIV Prevention Campaign

New Conference for Young Gay Men Also Launched
7.8.2011

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contacts:
Krishna Stone | 212.367.1016

New York, NY — Gay Men's Health Crisis (GMHC) recently launched an innovative HIV prevention campaign "Kiss & Tell" which has been printed in various educational materials and appears in phone kiosks throughout Manhattan in July.  "Kiss & Tell" encourages black and Latino young men who have sex with men (YMSM) to have open and loving discussions with partners (the people that they are kissing) about their sexual history and HIV status.  The campaign was developed in partnership with young men, ages 13 to 19, who participate in GMHC's new youth leadership-development program, CLUB1319. The program provides HIV prevention education, social networking, skills training, and opportunities to participate in developing social marketing campaigns such as "Kiss & Tell."

The concept originated out of the former and homophobic "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy which prohibited gay or bisexual people from disclosing their sexual orientation or speaking about same-sex relationships, while serving in the U.S. armed forces.  The youth wanted a campaign that spoke the opposite of this policy-while featuring intimacy and what is possible for young gay couples as they express trust, respect and commitment for one another.

"This campaign reinforces GMHC's ongoing commitment--since our earliest days--to addressing homophobia and reducing the spread of HIV among gay men," said Marjorie Hill, PhD, Chief Executive Officer of GMHC.  "The campaign directly challenges homophobia, and acknowledges the value of relationships in the lives of young gay men while encouraging dialogue."

In 2010, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a new analysis indicating that 1 in 5 gay and bisexual men in a study of 21 major U.S. cities is infected with HIV, and that nearly half of these men (44%) are unaware of their status. Of the gay men studied, young men under the age of 25, blacks and Latinos were least likely to be aware of their status. Other findings of the report underscore the racial disparities that exist among gay men, with black gay men most disproportionately affected by the virus, and higher rates of HIV prevalence among communities with lower rates of education and income.

"Kiss & Tell" also connects with the First Annual Youth Summit: A Brotherhood Affair, to be held on July 22 for young men, ages 24 and under, and will be a full day concentrated on offering what CLUB1319 does year-round.

GMHC remains committed to developing and advocating for expanded HIV prevention approaches that:

  • Address homophobia and anti-gay bias as public health threats that contribute to  gay men's heightened vulnerability to HIV infection;
  • Promote family acceptance which strengthens the resiliency within gay youth to better negotiate safer sex practices;
  • Support gay-affirming interventions and activities in schools such as gay-straight alliances and anti-bullying curricula;
  • Ensure that age-appropriate sex education programs are implemented and evaluated in schools.

***

GMHC is a not-for-profit, volunteer-supported and community-based organization committed to national leadership in the fight against AIDS.  We provide prevention and care services to men, women and families that are living with, or affected by, HIV/AIDS in New York City.  We advocate for scientific, evidence-based public health solutions for hundreds of thousands worldwide.