Post of Get On It HIV and Syphilis testing poster as for Hassle Free Sexual Health Centre on the side of a building.

The Challenge

Get more gay men talking about HIV and Syphilis. Develop an informative and creative campaign and forum to engage and facilitate this difficult topic.

Provide education regarding the symptoms of HIV and STI's, as well as the importance of testing and local testing clinic locations.

The Insight & Strategy

Many gay men are uncomfortable with discussing HIV/STI testing, being tested by their doctor or going into a walk-in clinic. It is a stressful conversation, seemingly complicated process and often lacking clear information.

The approach was to engage gay men talking about testing amongst themselves via an informative, yet approachable and relatable campaign. At the same time providing education and practical information about clinics with extended hours for anonymous rapid HIV testing.

The Execution

Reach gay men in their environment. Saturate campaign messaging during peak times of sexual consideration (partying/clubbing), in Toronto and Ottawa.

Focus on entertainment sections of gay magazines and targeted weekly papers with ads that reached our audience pre weekend.

Provocative postings and projections delivered campaign into public display, stimulating open discussion. Walking billboards parlayed information and interacted with our audience outside gay clubs.

Washroom ads and large wall banners placed inside gay bars increased awareness of the information and clinic locations.

Toronto's only gay radio station communicated information and stimulated discussion around HIV, STI's and the clinics available for testing.

Collage image of Get On It campaign for the Hassle Free Sexual Health Centre. Hand holding cellphone with ad, cityscape, ad projected on wall in downtown city setting.

The Result

Pre and post surveys showed increased scores in educational awareness around HIV and STI's. I.E. Syphilis can be transmitted by skin-to-skin contact increased from 64% to 73% awareness.

Over 450 Syphilis tests performed with 34 reactive; 1,165 HIV tests with 19 reactive; of which 15% were men testing for the first time.

Client was extremely happy. Measurable increased awareness, education, and discussion regarding the importance of testing to lower HIV and STI rates in Ontario.

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