How Are You Healthy!?

Wed. April 1, 2009 12:00 AM
by Bill Pritchard

Take a look at's new "How are you healthy?" holistic gay and bisexual men's health social marketing campaign from Project CRYSP .

Project CRYSP is a 4-agency, 5-year collaboration funded by the Chicago Department of Public Health, including Center on Halsted , Howard Brown Health Center , Test Positive Aware Network , and AIDS Foundation of Chicago . The project aims to reduce crystal meth use and promote a broad, holistic view of gay and bisexual men's health - all in an effort to reduce new HIV infections among gay men in Chicago.

"How are you healthy?" is one of the first, if not THE first, social marketing campaigns in Chicago to take an assets-based approach to gay/bi men's health. The ultimate goal of the campaign is to encourage healthy living ---highlight the accessibility of healthy living, encourage gay and bisexual men to assess how they are living healthily, maintain and increase their efforts to do so, and talk about healthy living with each other.

Campaign messages do not focus on sexually transmitted diseases or drug use. Instead, they make the assumption that all gay and bisexual men in Chicago are doing something to maintain their health and wellness, and asks them to ponder the question for themselves. And unlike many health campaigns directed towards gay and bisexual men, it does not resort to using fear tactics, is not directive, and does not promote hysteria.

The campaign features different images of healthy behaviors as well as a diversity of men - young, old, multi-racial - just like the gay and bisexual community in which we live and love.

Gay and bisexual men in Chicago keep themselves healthy in a number of ways. For some, maybe it's all about eating healthy food and taking vitamins; or meditating every day; riding your bike; getting tested regularly for sexually transmitted diseases; quitting smoking; talking to a good friend, or some good ole fashioned loving.

The campaign invites gay and bisexual men to share their methods for staying healthy on the popular gay men's sexual health and wellness website and blog - New posts answering the question "How are you healthy?" are featured every week.

The campaign is running on the Chicago Transit Authority. It is also featured in, Gay Chicago, Chicago Free Press, Windy City Times, BOI Magazine and Nightspots, and in a host of banner ads on the internet, including right here on and the Feast of Fun . Additionally, hundreds of posters adorn the walls of bars, community based organizations, health clinics, retail outlets, and other locales in the gay community.

Make a difference today and participate by telling others how you are healthy!