Ohh we are getting very excited about our session tomorrow morning at the AIDS conference here in Washington.
Mainly because we are just a little frustrated that safer sex seems to have slipped off the agenda even more than usual.
Although Hilary Clinton was still stating the path to an AIDS free generation is combination prevention – condoms, counseling and testing. There is also a large demonstration outside the conference against male circumcision – reminding us of another prevention method recently also found to be effective against HIV (the demonstrators think its mutilation) .
However most of the excitement at the conference is on the recent NIH research that showed if HIV infected people took HIV treatment early their sexual partners were almost completely protected from infection. It’s great news and a real boost to get people onto treatment. But we do hope that this does not reduce the already limited attention in the sexual health world on being creative when it comes to condom use. The HIV industry is a world with attention deficient disorder rapidly racing onto the next magic bullet – or ‘cure’
In fact whilst sitting in the opening ceremony yesterday I was trying to count how many times the word condom was used. I maybe wrong (and please correct me if I missed one) but I counted four times. That was in a two hour opening Session at the worlds largest AIDS conference. Franky I felt a little depressed. And answers on a postcard for how many time sexuality or pleasure were mentioned .
However despite condoms slipping off the agenda we are getting psyched about all the brilliant speakers we have at our pleasure and breakfast session tomorrow.
We will hear from brilliant researchers who have identified the link between more sexy sex education and having more safer sex, such as Dr Lori Sheldon from the US or how promoting pleasure sold more condoms in Brazil . Daniel Marun from DKT International will tell us more about the empirical evidence show receptiveness to safer sex messages have improved when pleasure and desire are incorporated into marketing efforts.
Dr T. Masvawure from Zimbabwe will talk about her research that looks beyond the stereotypes of African women and the reasons they have sex, pleasure of course being one.
And lastly Professor Dowsett will deliver the rather fabulously titled talk “Pleasure, Passion, Pulchritude, Sex, and Technology: HIV prevention is about to get even messier”
And I think he right.
So lets look at these wonderful condom ballgowns in the meantime.