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GCS recently hosted a planning workshop at the Darlington Centre jointly organised by Elspeth, Clif and myself. The workshop represents Stage 1 of an international collaborative project to effectively communicate safer sex messages to young people (16-26yo) via mobile and online technologies. Not only are HIV infection rates on the increase, so too are STIs such as chlamydia which is now on the WHO list of morbidities because, while easily treated once detected, it currently stands as a major cause of infertility.
Among the 21 workshop participants were international researchers Yingying Huang from Remnin University, Beijing and John Nguyet Erni from City University, HongKong. There were representatives from community organizations concerned with sexual health such as ACON, AFAO, NSW Family Planning and Streetwize. A rep from the NSW Children and Young People's Commission was there, along with CRN members from QUT, UWoollongong, UQ, UTS and UWS. Then there were researchers from other depts here at USyd including MECO and the Marketing Dept.
The level of expertise in the room was impressive, covering such diverse areas as: sexual consumption, sexual health, sexual ethics, online communities, youth consumption, mobile technologies, mobile logics and the creative industries.
A follow up workshop is planned for October 06 where we hope to be joined by researchers from the UK (Sociology Dept, Goldsmith's College and the Centre for Social and Cultural Change). Workshop participants are also preparing to present a series of panels at the next Inter-Asian Cultural Studies conference in Shanghai, July 2007.
The workshop was funded by the Cultural Research Network (CRN) and the University of Sydney.
We'll keep you posted on upcoming developments so watch this space!

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This is the blog for thinking and talking about culture, Cultural Studies and cultural analysis at the University of Sydney.
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