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Every year, flocks of young festival heads make their way to Townsville for the annual Groovin’ the Moo festival. Most planning a weekend fueled with partying, plenty of alcohol, and for the lucky ones… (SAFE) sex! In order to help these guys achieve this, a bunch of us have jumped on board to spread the word about YEAH.
At last year’s festival the presence of YEAH was undoubtedly felt (OR seen via the massive red inflatable condoms!). Recent studies show that there is an STI epidemic occurring within young Australian’s aged 15-29 and when STI’s are on the rise, unfortunately HIV follows. Knowing this, a bunch of us thought we’d jump on board, get to the YEAH training session and be a part of the solution!
Our training session helped us gain knowledge about both STI’s, HIV and AIDS issues in Australia. We got hands on experience (with Big Red) and got comfortable with general safe sex chat. Peer to peer information sharing is an invaluable tool, one which we worked on most of the day, and one which will hopefully get our message across at the GTM festival!
It was generally surprising how little collective knowledge we had prior to the training. However, we walked away with a much better understanding of the facts, and were well equipped to have comfortable and open conversations about any questions the festival revelers may have
Although HIV and AIDS aren’t leading sexual health issues in Australia, it is something so unnecessary and so easily prevented in a first world country. Armed with bags of condoms, Big Red and a HEAP of enthusiasm, the YEAH team in Townsville are ready to get the word out there and get GTM Townsville RedAware.
Written by Alexis Zahner, new Townsville peer educator