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Research from a University College London/ Health Protection Agency survey reveals one in seven men on the London gay scene has HIV*

Online condoms and lubes provider the Freedoms Shop has teamed up with Terrence Higgins Trust to launch the Summer Lovin' campaign - urging gay men across London to use condoms - with a new online health resource. The downloadable resource brings together stacks of health and sexual safety information, presented in a cheeky, accessible way, while Freedoms is providing a half price condoms offer – 24 Skins for £5.

The Summer Lovin' resource pack – The gay man's guide to condoms (everything they didn't teach you at school) includes info about condom quality, size, lubes and putting on/ taking condoms off, as well as info on the Freedoms Shop and its special summer offer. No-nonsense, practical information is included in sections called size matters, your flexible friend, stay slick and get it on.

Research from a University College London/ Health Protection Agency survey reveals one in seven men on the London gay scene has HIV*. The campaign launched with the strapline: 'Look after yourself. Look after him. Use condoms.'

Tanya Percy from the Freedoms Shop says: ‘While effective antiretroviral therapies have reduced both AIDS incidence and deaths in the UK, HIV continues to account for high numbers of potential years of life lost. Using condoms consistently and correctly is the best way to avoid transmission of HIV and other STIs. Using condoms incorrectly is the most likely reason for breakages, so Terrence Higgins Trust’s ‘Gay man's guide to condoms’ - part of the Summer Lovin’ campaign - is a timely reminder to us all.’

Colleague Katy Harrad added: ‘As a National Health Service (NHS) organisation, we provide quality, affordable products, delivered straight to your door, in addition to the free condoms and lube also made available by the NHS. Terrence Higgins Trust works tirelessly to promote better sexual health and Freedoms is proud to support the Summer Lovin’ campaign.’

Terrence Higgins Trust's National Social Marketing Manager, Richard Scholey, said: ‘Freedoms kindly donates tens of thousands of condoms to our charity each year for distribution in bars, clubs, saunas, and at community events. This kind of support is invaluable, as it helps staff and volunteers to put condoms directly into the hands of some of those most at risk of HIV in the UK.

‘We are hugely grateful to Freedoms for setting up this special offer to coincide with our new campaign. We hope men will take advantage of the offer and ensure they and their partners have a better, safer sex life.’

Don't go in without a Skin
Freedoms is including four Skins products in the offer: natural, ultra thin, extra large and chocolate flavour. The promotion includes two boxes of 12 condoms, each of the same variety, and runs for three months through summer 2012.

* Gay men's sexual health survey in 36 gay venues, 2009. University College London/ Health Protection Agency

For more information please contact:
Katy Harrad: 0203 317 5470 or email freedoms.shop@nhs.net


Notes to editors
The Freedoms Scheme and Shop
The Freedoms Shop is an NHS sexual health promotion initiative run by Camden Provider Services. It grew out of the Freedoms Scheme, which was set up by Camden Provider Services (Camden PCT at the time) in 1999, with the aim of helping to combat rising numbers of new HIV infections among London's gay communities.

Freedoms is contracted to distribute over 2.5 million free condoms and lube sachets to London’s gay bars and clubs every year. The Freedoms Scheme's huge purchasing power means it has been able to negotiate large discounts on prices, opening the Freedoms Shop in 2003. The shop offers a wide selection of high-quality, low-priced condoms and lubricants to the general public and to other NHS organisations, including many NHS trusts and GPs across the country.

Terrence Higgins Trust
Terry Higgins was one of the first people in the UK to die with AIDS. A group of his friends wanted to prevent more people having to face the same illness as Terry, so they named the Trust after him, hoping to personalise and humanise AIDS in a very public way. The Terrence Higgins Trust was established as a charity in 1982 – one of the first to be set up in response to the HIV epidemic. It has been at the forefront of the fight against HIV, and improving the nation's sexual health, ever since.

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