Rug Up for Winter, funny saying when spring is so close. Actually it is an organisation set up by Gay men to get the message out that 'rugging up' with a condom is taking action to help prevent HIV infection.
HIV infections have risen, in Victoria in 2005, by 28%. Is it because gay men no longer see their friends dying around them week by week? Is it because with every new treatment, they no longer see HIV as a death threat? Is the safe sex message not getting to the next generation of gay teens?
RugUp wants Gay men to take responsibility for their own health as well as their partners, mates and, I might as well say it, fuck buddies. They have a three point plan for men to commit to.
1. Use a condom every time you have casual anal sex between lst July and 30th September.
2. Have a sexual health check-up. (simple tests for gonorrhoea, syphilis, chlamydia and HIV)
3. Talk to your friends about your decision to be part of RugUp and encourage them to join.
So why am I talking about this campaign when I'm not gay or even a man? It's because this type of campaign can easily cross over to the straight male community. Take any 14 to 24 year old group of males and I bet they couldn't name more than one sexually transmitted infection or know what the symptoms are until their balls dropped off.
It also applies to girls in that same age range. There's no reason for girls not to carry their own condoms and insist on their use.
If your current cretin thinks you're a slut for carrying them, leave and never look back, he's not worth the trouble.
A grass roots campaign like RugUp has my support in educating sexually active teens, gay or straight. HIV and STI's don't care about your sexual orientation.