|by Sal Seeley LCSW
|Summer's Fast Approaching
After being cooped up all winter, the guys came out in full force Memorial Day weekend! I think this summer is going to be one where it all hangs out and finishes with a bang. My neck is still sore from looking at all the cute guys. I didn't meet the man of my dreams, and if I did...well...you know. We are going to have the best summer of our lives and have absolutely no regrets when it is all over right? Right. So, come on men of Rehoboth. Let's get it over with. Raise your right hand and say it with me...
We will not get a third degree sunburn because we will make sure we wear sunscreen.
We will get enough sleep to make sure that the shade of our umbrella does not slowly creep away from us as we snore.
We will not wake up the next morning wondering if we have the same dark circles, blood-shot eyes, and pounding head of the guy or gal next to us because we will drink only enough...and not too much.
We will not be shy about asking Sal for information about safer sex, if we need it.
We will not be someone else's summer regret because we will watch out for our communityemotionally and physicallywhenever possible.
We will take every reasonable precaution so that we do not remember our incredible vacation with a new infection of gonorrhea, hepatitis B or C, HIV, genital warts, and/or syphilis!
There. That wasn't hard. Seriously, though, I know we have all been preached to about safer sex. However, we need to take a moment out and ask ourselves; when we heard the words, did we get the message? Many of us are still taking risks. Many of us are still getting infectedand not just with HIV. Sex, when had with care for one another, is wonderful and fun. I'm not just talking about long termeven hot, anonymous, one-night hookups can be done with an amount of respect and honesty. Sex is something that can be done well or poorly (and who hasn't had that date), responsibly or irresponsibly, callously or with care. Responsibility comes with each of us making safe and informed choices. A summer without regret comes the same way.
To help out with it all, the CAMPsafe outreach team will be handing out packets of condoms and lube all during the summer. We might even entertain you! HIV Testing will be available on the weekends and during the week. We also make available condoms and lube (free stuff!) at many of the bars, restaurants and guesthouses at the beach. If you cannot locate a condom of a particular size, or if you need them quickly (and who hasn't had that date too), please feel free to pick them up at the CAMP Rehoboth Community Center at 37 Baltimore Avenue. The condom carrier also has useful information, including tips on how to use them. (And the pictures are fun, too!)
Sal Seeley is Program Director of CAMPsafe, an HIV/AIDS program funded through a contract with the Delaware Division of Public Health. E-mail email@example.com. Confidential HIV testing is available at CAMP Rehoboth. Call Sal at 302-227-5620 to schedule an appointment.
LETTERS From CAMP Rehoboth, Vol. 18, No. 06 May 30, 2008