Thursday, December 9, 2010

Totally F'd Ad on "Living" with HIV from the NYC Dept of Health - you gotta see this garbage

This ad is, hmmmmm, let's see, absolutely hateful and totally stigmatizing to all of us living with HIV. For a start. Thanks NYC Dept of Health for making us out to be demented lepers. Thanks for saying that even if we take our meds, our lives will be hell, with brittle bones and anal cancer. And thanks for the super scary voice-over to make sure we're all appropriately terrorized.Who consulted on this? Focus on the Family? Concerned Women of America? David Bahati, our friendly Ugandan legislator who wants gays imprisoned or dead? Satan?How many guys who don't know their status - and should know their status - will be convinced by this horror show to get tested? Would you want to know your status if this told the truth about what lay in store for you? Negative guys - will the lovely glimpse of anal cancer make you wear a condom every single time, maybe scare you into a full latex body suit?  Will this ad make you run for the hills when the guy you're cruising tells you he's POZ (aka DERANGED DISFIGURED?

POZ guys - how do you like this? 
Neg guys? 
Status unknown guys?  


  1. repulsive. offensive. FUCKED.

  2. what the fuck?????????

  3. Seriously? A health department put that out? Hateful bitches..

  4. Nature is a more powerful force than any ad campaign. If ad campaigns worked the epidemic would've been over.

  5. Here at least is a a dose of truth-speaking antidote:

  6. gay = disease. Welcome to the 1980s!

  7. The legacy of Dr. Thomas Friedan, who now heads the CDC. You don't have to think hard about why many of us leave health work in disgust.

    Tony Valenzuela

  8. In watching this bad prevention campaign from NYC Dpt of Health, campaign that stigmatises poz people (particularly gay men), I wonder if the NYC Dpt of health isn't afraid of TasP...Why didn't they carry out a campaign that suggests people screening tests to allow the ones who need to receive a treatment ? TasP isn't to remove the condoms but a fantastic new tool to eradicate a day the Aids pandemic but also to protect poz people and their partners : in 2010 treatments are better, less side efects, people can work, have a better sexual and love life for them and their partner. In 2010 2 vaccins are efficacious, for women and men,against HPV that cause lesions and anal cancers. Condoms are the first prevention tools but they aren't magic and we need new tools to protect people : Microbicids, PREP, PEP, etc. In 2010 we need better prevention campaigns, with positive messages, not fear messages.


  9. I am not sure why there should be any controversy over this video. It tells it like it is and every person who has unprotected sex should be made aware of the possible consequences. When subjects such as this are sugar coated in the media (Asia as an example where I live) people do not take the issues at hand seriously enough. What people don't seem to have a grasp on is that HIV AND AIDS ARE NOT CURABLE.The medical community and drug companies have made great progress in understanding and controlling the disease.Controlling is however is not curing it. Bottom line is death is only delayed so play safe with your partner,money boy,trick or anyone else in bed.

  10. The messages are not accurate. Not close.

    Most people with HIV won't get anal cancer. It is exceedingly rare. It is caused by HPV, not HIV. And screening and tx guidelines make the risk of abnormal cells advancing to cancer that looks like that horrible picture very unlikely.

    Most ppl with HIV won't necessarily get dementia or osteoporosis either - both of which can happen to anyone - it is part of aging. No cute 25 year old on the dancefloor is going to fall to the floor because of suddenly brittle bones.

    Using these over the top, worst case scenarios is dishonest at best. Painting our lives can be accurate without the horror show, eh?

    I reject portraying my life - 15 yrs and counting with HIV - as a hellish nightmare. Has it been tough? Yes. But who's life isn't? Living with HIV is challenging, but it is not one big long scream of agony for most of us. But nuance isn't eye catching or sexy, is it?

    Pls tell me how this ad will encourage at-risk individuals to test - "knowing" their lives will be horrifying even if they take their meds. And that they are doomed to anal cancer.

    I am not demented diseased leper today - and not likely to be one ever. These messages help no one. And hurts us all - negative and positive.

    Fear and stigma are PROVEN not to work. See the LifeLube post from Sunday - The Role of Fear in HIV Prevention to learn why.

    So, the NYC DPH wasted taxpayer dollars, and injected toxic waste into the conversation around prevention and gay men's health - to what end?

  11. The ad is effectfull in that way that it actually tell the audicence some truths about HIV and AIDS that is not commonly known. The fact that medicine will keep in cheque many of the symptoms is something that is true, but I do not feel neither chocked or stigmatized by it, because it is effective and make people think about wearing a condom, and what's wrong with that? And what is the better thing - keep people ignorant and unaware of the consequences of contracting HIV by keeping these other nasty side-effects and diseases under the carpet, or start to make people be more aware of other consequences of contracting HIV? If more people start to use condoms in order to keep their health and not get, nor spread HIV, this ad has served it's purpose, and should not be condemned for it.

  12. Should you want to engage on this issue directly with the NYC Dept of Public Health -

    Send comments to Nichole Melendez (Administrative Assistant to Dr. Monica Sweeney, Assistant Commissioner of the Bureau of HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control at the NYC Health Department.

  13. I´ve been working in HIV prevention field in Sweden and Norway since the mid 90´s. Horrorcampaigns tend to show up now and then when authorities or other NGO´s or health organizations feel some sort of pressure to do something. history repeat itself so to speak.

    It´s a balance between information and horror, some do it in a good way and some like this example not so good.

    However I do not feel stigmatized as an hivpositive gaymen and the information is nothing but cold facts. But that does not mean I like horrorcampaigns.

    Poz and Proud
    Walter Heidkampf



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