Whitman-Walker launches HIV prevention campaign

By Advocate.com Editors

Originally published on Advocate.com October 16 2002 11:00 PM ET

Whitman-Walker Clinic's G-Net program, a health and wellness program for gay and bisexual men in the Washington, D.C., area, is launching a new HIV/AIDS prevention campaign that specifically targets men who have sex with men. The campaign, funded by the district's health department, the HIV/AIDS Administration, and Whitman-Walker, will include ads in gay newspapers and in bus shelters throughout the city.

"Gay and bisexual men continue to be at high risk for HIV infection," said A. Cornelius Baker, executive director of Whitman-Walker Clinic. "In Washington, men who have sex with men account for 43% of all current cases of HIV infection. Nationwide, as many as one third of all gay and bisexual African-American men may be HIV-positive. We need to reach out to these men to ensure that they take the necessary steps to protect themselves."

The ads stress the need for gay and bisexual men to think of safer sex as they would any other regular safety activities in their lives, like locking their doors and wearing seat belts in their cars. "Why should sex be any different?" asked Stephen McDonnell, G-Net program manager. "It is vital that men know their own HIV status and take universal precautions to protect themselves during sex."