Mayor Adrian M. Fenty and DC Department of Health (DOH) officials announced a new campaign for DC residents to know where they stand in their relationships. The campaign is part of the District’s continued focus on promoting HIV testing and the appropriate use of condoms as key to stop the spread of HIV and AIDS. The campaign encourages people in relationships to ask three questions: do we know our HIV status? Is it just the two of us? And do we use condoms?
“Asking these questions in a relationship isn’t always easy, but three questions can help keep DC residents HIV-free: Do we know our HIV status? Is it just the two of us in the relationship? Do we use condoms?” said Fenty. “Protecting yours and your partner’s health will also protect the health of all DC residents.”
The $75,000 multimedia public awareness campaign includes Metro, print and bus stop shelter ads. It also includes a three-part radio ad series where a couple discusses the three questions over dinner. The campaign was developed from DOH scientific studies on the HIV health behavior of heterosexuals and men who have sex with men. The studies showed that about half of District adults did not know their partner’s HIV status, that many believed their partner was having sex with other individuals while in their relationship and between one-third and one-half were not using condoms.
“Whether you’ve been in a relationship for 3 months, 3 years or 30 years, knowing your HIV status, understanding your relationship and deciding to use condoms will help keep you safe and healthy,” said Dr. Pierre Vigilance, Director of the Department of Health. “The District provides free HIV testing and free condoms to all residents so that these necessary discussions are easier to have.”
As part of the outreach campaign, residents are able to find free HIV testing and get free condoms by calling 311 or going online at www.DCTakesOnHIV.com. In the District, residents can also text DCWRAP to 365247 to find the nearest free condom location. District residents can now order free condoms sent directly from DOH to them by ordering online at www.DCTakesOnHIV.com.
“When we live in the city with the highest HIV/AIDS rates in the country, it’s the highest priority to know where you stand in your relationships,” said Dr. Shannon Hader, Senior Deputy Director of the DOH HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis, STD & TB Administration. “Raising these three questions on HIV status, relationships and condoms will go a long way to reducing HIV in DC.”