By Advocate.com Editors
Originally published on Advocate.com April 12 2003 12:00 AM ET
The upcoming White Party, a circuit party to be held April 17-21 in Palm Springs, Calif., will be the center of a new syphilis prevention campaign that aims to raise awareness of the sexually transmitted disease among the thousands of men attending the annual event, reports the Bay Area Reporter. The White Party is one of the most-attended circuit party events in the country.
Health officials in California are worried that an outbreak of syphilis among men who have sex with men in California, and locally among Palm Springs men, could escalate due to unprotected sex among White Party attendees. To educate men attending the party about the recent outbreaks, health officials will be discussing the potential health risks of syphilis and handing out safer-sex packets. The message for anyone engaging in sex over the weekend will be "get tested, get tested, get tested," said Dan Wohlfeiler, a spokesperson for California's STD control branch.
The Desert AIDS Project, a Palm Springs-based AIDS service organization, will hand out about 10,000 safer-sex kits to White Party attendees through gift bags at all circuit party events, most hotels in the area, and at the city's Palm Springs Street Fair. The kits also will include information about HIV, other STDs, and syphilis and HIV testing.