Raging Stallion’s Steve Cruz Does PSA to Encourage STD Testing

Joanne Cachapero
SAN FRANCISCO —Raging Stallion Man of the Year and exclusive model Steve Cruz has been tapped by the San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDPH) to be a spokesperson in its 2008 campaign to promote STD testing and safer sex practices.

Cruz also is featured in radio and print advertising for the campaign.

In January, the performer also launched his own STD resource website, HowIRoll.info, which is funded by Cruz, in partnership with the STOP AIDS Project of San Francisco, the Test Positive Aware Network of Chicago and media partners Unzipped Magazine, NakedSword, Gay Chicago Magazine and BigMuscle.com.

“SFDPH were looking for a new voice of STD prevention this April to replace Travis Creston, Mr. San Francisco Leather 2007,” Cruz told XBIZ. “They had endorsed my ‘How I Roll’ campaign back during the launch in January. So it was really a perfect fit. [SFDPH Director of STDs Programs] Frank Strona phoned me up with the offer.”

In the radio commercial, Cruz announces himself as Raging Stallion Man of the Year, which is followed by the model pointing out that STDs such as gonorrhea, chlamydia and syphilis often display no symptoms and can remain undetected.

“You can’t be sure you don’t have anything unless you get tested,” Cruz said in the ad, followed by a plea for the public to get tested every three to six months and information on resources and free testing offered by the SFDPH.

The radio announcement airs daily on San Francisco's Energy 92.7. Listeners outside of the Bay Area can download the PSA at Cruz’s blog.

“I love sex — it's no big secret,” Cruz said. “I want my fans and the community as a whole to enjoy a healthy sex life, too.”

“It's not that I want to shake my finger in everyone's face — quite the contrary. But if we don't talk about the dangers out there, those things have the potential to do real harm,” he added.

“By educating a new generation of men about how HIV is spread and by promoting safer sex, we hope to reduce the number of new HIV infections each year. And let's face it: STDs are a fact of life for sexually active people. Sticking our head in the sand won't make it go away. If we can remove the shameful stigma attached to getting an STD, then perhaps more of us would get tested and get treatment.”

Cruz will start his own video PSA campaign this summer for HowIRoll.info and will broadcast the videos on YouTube and MySpace. The clips will feature other well-known models, including Johnny Hazzard, Francesco D'Macho, Blake Riley, Jason Ridge and Damien Crosse, among others.

As a performer, Cruz said that he feels increased responsibility to practice safer sex by being tested for STDs on a regular basis and feels that other performers also should make an effort to be informed about STDs and STD testing.

“Not only performers, but everyone who is sexually active,” Cruz added, “but since performers are perhaps more sexually active than most, it's even more important to test often.

“We're all adults so I am not sure we have to make it the responsibility of the studios to test. But they could provide time, and even encourage performers to go to the free clinic,” he said. “I go every three months for a check up. You could have an STD and not show symptoms, then spread that STD to others.”

For more information, visit HowIRoll.info.