UPDATE - the site has just been pulled down. Still worth a discussion, no? But, it continues to live on the back of this week's Windy City Times.
[via diego de la noche and amigos]
Okay, we're mad. There is a new Illinois HIV prevention campaign that is based on fear and portrays gay men with HIV as demons. Are we back in the nightmare 80's, without the Flock of Seagulls hairdos?
"He's the one" launched a few weeks ago, and to anyone that was paying attention, it looked like a come-on for a new hook-up site. The ads encouraged people to sign up to win an iPad - but otherwise revealed nothing more. Then, this week, the rest of the campaign was unveiled - "He's the one, that could infect you."
So - it not only further stigmatizes those of us living with HIV it does nothing to help people understand the context in which new infections are most likely to occur.
Here is what is known:
People who don't know their HIV status have more unprotected sex compared to those who know they are positive.
A large percentage of new infections happen between people when one is experiencing acute infection.
Similarly, many new infections occur in the context of relationships, between main sex partners. A study published in 2009 showed that approximately 2/3 of new infections among gay men happen within relationships, due to "a higher number of sex acts with main partners, more frequent receptive roles in anal sex with main partners, and lower condom use during anal sex with main partners."
This stupid, hateful campaign tells you none of this, elucidates NADA. It just tries to scare the hell out of you regarding that next hot (sinister) trick who might just do you very, very wrong.
What do you think? Are we on point here? Is this sort of campaign helpful in any way?
Friday, May 7, 2010
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