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Guys like me. Guys like you. Guys like us.

Timely and nuanced messaging in Emen8’s ‘Guys like me. Guys like you. Guys like us’ combination HIV prevention campaign

Earlier this year, Thorne Harbour and ACON’s joint national health promotion initiative for same-sex-attracted men — Emen8 — launched a campaign with a new interactive map to help thousands of guys locate sexual health testing services nearby and across Australia.

Following its success, in June the Emen8 team delivered another timely and impactful campaign that speaks to the real world experiences of guys across Australia — this time, focusing on combination approaches to HIV prevention.

‘Guys like me. Guys like you. Guys like us’ is all about using and combining four different HIV prevention methods that align with our national HIV strategies: condoms, PrEP, an undetectable viral load and PEP if needed.

We know that HIV prevention is no longer a one-size-fits-all approach or a condom every time message. The campaign is about educating guys on the many different ways there are to prevent HIV and encourages them to have conversations with their sexual partners. In particular, reinforcing the benefit of using condoms in conjunction with other HIV prevention strategies as a highly effective way to help prevent many STIs — especially in casual sex settings where swapping contact details might not be top priority.

The Emen8 team travelled to film a diverse range of six individuals and couples in their own homes showing a real life, relatable experience through a series of candid interviews. The videos provide a glimpse into these men’s lives, offering a very human perspective of real guys making real choices.

Wade is an Aboriginal/Polynesian Australian who uses condoms when he and his partner invite other guys to join them.

Jason and Jeff have been in an open relationship for almost eight years and both use PrEP.

Johann grew up in Sri Lanka and uses HIV treatment to stay undetectable.

Tom has been using PrEP ever since he completed a course of emergency PEP when he was 19.

Married couple, Gregory and Michael sometimes have sex with other guys and rely on condoms to keep themselves and each other safe.

Carlos recently arrived to study in Australia and has had good experiences disclosing his undetectable status as well as organising his HIV treatment without Medicare.

Additionally, the campaign features interviews with Dr. Vincent Cornelisse, sexual health practitioner, talking about his experience working with gay and bisexual men. Dr Vincent encourages guys to find a doctor they trust, start a conversation about sexual health and reiterates that all of these HIV prevention options are available for trans and gender diverse people too.

The ‘Guys like me. Guys like you. Guys like us’ campaign has engaged a national audience of men at a time when innovative ways to prevent HIV are really taking off. Throughout Australia, an increasing number of men are opting in to PrEP at the same time as the U=U message is rippling through communities of men who have sex with men. The timing is right to show how the ongoing efforts of guys who are choosing and combining the various different ways to prevent HIV is having a huge impact on reducing the number of HIV transmissions across Australia.

Check out the Emen8.com.au website or find Emen8 on Facebook.

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