GLAAD and the Gay Men’s Health Crisis are calling on New York City to cease airing an HIV prevention ad that the groups says is “sensationalist and stigmatizing.”
The PSA, which is intended to encourage condom usage among gay and bisexual men, claims that those with HIV face a higher risk of bone loss, dementia, and anal cancer. While older adults living with HIV may be at greater risk of these conditions, the PSA creates a grim picture of what it is like to live with HIV that could further stigmatize HIV/AIDS, as well as gay and bisexual men. “We know from our longstanding HIV prevention work that portraying gay and bisexual men as dispensing diseases is counterproductive,“ said Marjorie Hill, PhD, GMHC’s Chief Executive Officer. “Studies have shown that using scare tactics is not effective. Including gay men’s input, while recognizing their strength and resiliency, in the creation of HIV prevention education is effective. Gay men are part of the prevention solution, not the problem.” Both GLAAD and GMHC have reached out to the department to demand that the commercial be pulled and to offer assistance with framing the conversation around HIV/AIDS more accurately.
Here’s the clip, which does seem over the top. One image in particular may be quite disturbing.