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Gay Men and Unsafe Sex; Bridging a Gap Between Knowledge and Behavior
[FINAL Edition]
The Washington Post (pre-1997 Fulltext) - Washington, D.C.
Author: John-Manuel Andriote
Date: Aug 10, 1993
Start Page: Z.14
Section: HEALTH TAB

Merely presenting information about how HIV - the human immunodeficiency virus that causes AIDS - is transmitted and encouraging condom use during intercourse are not enough to maintain safer sexual behavior, AIDS educators from around the country reported during meetings at the 15th National Lesbian and Gay Health Conference in Houston last month.

Paradoxically, part of the reason why some gay men have "relapsed," [Rosser] said, was the strong pressure on them to have safer sex. "We get people to fear what they do," he said. "The message is that sexual behavior is dangerous." The result is guilt and a feeling of powerlessness to change their behavior. The solution, Rosser said, is to shift the focus from the "illness" of practicing unsafe sex to the healthiness of safer sex.

In Dallas, Chwee Lye Chng and the staff of the city's AIDS Resource Center have designed a four-week workshop in which small groups gather weekly to talk about sex, relationships, what it means to be a man and how the beliefs and values of the wider gay community affect their personal sexual behavior.

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