S.F. officials deem "Healthy Penis" ads a success
Officials at the San Francisco Department of Public Health have deemed the "Healthy Penis" syphilis prevention campaign targeting gay men in the city a success after a survey showed that the campaign has resonated with its target audience, reports the Bay Area Reporter. The campaign features cartoon characterizations of penises and syphilis sores and has been appearing in gay publications and outdoor advertising venues since last summer. A survey of 125 gay and bisexual men in the city showed that 89% had seen the ads and that of those who were aware of the campaign, 53% had been tested for syphilis infection. Only 21% of survey respondents who were unaware of the campaign had been tested. About 46% of survey respondents also said the ads made them want to regularly use condoms, and 30% said the campaign led them to consider being tested for HIV antibodies.
"Our preliminary data suggest that the 'Healthy Penis' campaign has been successful in increasing awareness and encouraging gay and bisexual men to get tested for syphilis," concluded Jeffrey Klausner, the city's director of sexually transmitted disease prevention. City health officials hope to eventually test 90% of San Francisco's HIV-positive, sexually active gay men for syphilis infection every six months.
For more information about the campaign, go online to www.healthypenis2003.org.