Going to the gym might not quite be like a Pride gathering, but it’s close, and there’s no doubt that gay men are interested in health and body images. While the Utah AIDS Foundation recognizes the importance of STI testing and awareness, there are more health concerns for gay men, said Josh Newberry, an HIV prevention coordinator at the UAF.
The overall concern for gay men’s health led the foundation to create a group called 3D: Doctors + Dudes + Dinner, which is a group that meets quarterly to help educate about health concerns for gay men.
Run by the UAF, it is a social atmosphere that covers topics like stress management, fitness and skin care. Each meeting includes a free dinner, a presentation or activity and a social atmosphere to mix and mingle. All events are free and gay men of all ages are invited to attend.
“Gay men are not less likely to be fit and healthy than their straight counterparts,” Newberry said. “But there are concerns that gay men face that other people don’t have to worry about. We want to help educate about these concerns and help people feel comfortable opening up and coming out to their doctors.”
The extension to a group that focuses on gay men’s health within the community was a natural extension for the UAF and the program will be expanding in the coming months, Newberry said.
The next gathering will be held on July 21 from 8 to 11 p.m. at Landis Salon, 569 N. 300 West, in Salt Lake City. The topic of discussion will be skin care and it will cover topics from skin-cancer prevention to proper skin care and products that will keep the skin looking healthy and young, Newberry said.
The Huntsman Cancer Institute will also give a presentation with a device called a Skin Scope that will show participants the damage done to their skin by the sun.
“Even if you don’t have a friend to come with, you can make one when you get there. Everyone is really friendly and it’s a great place to meet people in a low-stress environment,” Newberry said.
For more information and to watch for upcoming activities, go to UtahAIDS.org.