R Conrad

Play Smart: Visual AIDS Trading Cards Debut

Filed By R Conrad | June 15, 2010 8:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Entertainment, Entertainment, Living
Tags: HIV/AIDS, Prevention

Visual AIDS, an New York based organization dedicated to utilizing art to fight AIDS, has recently released a new series of artist edition broadsides and trading cards, Play Smart, that promote sex-positive harm reduction practices for men who have sex with men. Combining the work of five artists, these little gems offer up a creative and collaborative prevention tool for anyone doing HIV prevention work.

More details about how you can get your hands on these prints as well as a few more sultry images after the jump....

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As described on the Visual AIDS website:

Play Smart is an honest and straight-forward approach to promote harm reduction, HIV testing and post-exposure prophylaxis. Trading cards are packaged with a sticker, condoms and lube. The back of each trading card features information you need to know to Get Your Game On & Play Smart.

To get your hands on these guys contact Visual AIDS by email. They are distributing these prevention tools for free to organizations while supplies last during the month of June and to individuals by sending them a self addressed $0.78 stamped envelope. For more details about ordering or to find out more about the participating artists check out their artist statements on the Visual AIDS website.

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That guy on the right in the before-the-jump photo is H-O-T. I'd let him teach me more safe sex techniques!

Bil, for ONCE I'd fight you for a guy! We'll have to switch off!

It seems weird to me that they have so many fewer men of color considering how disproportionately HIV/AIDS affects the minority communities. Are white guys really the audience we need to reach out to? Black men are 6 times as likely to catch HIV. This is, I'm afraid, yet one more example of bias within the gay community towards men of color and why, I'm afraid, we have such a hard time rallying blacks, Latinos and others to "our" causes like same-sex marriage.

http://www.nyc.gov/html/doh/html/ah/ah.shtml

Dear MOCBlogger,

That's a valid point and I'm glad you brought it up. Visual AIDS's mission is to utilizes art to fight AIDS by provoking dialogue, supporting HIV+ artists, and preserving a legacy, because AIDS is not over. In doing so, we try to serve our diverse communities within our various projects, exhibitions,and events - including men, women, transgender and people of color. However for our Artist Edition Projects, which promotes Safer Sex and AIDS Awareness, we do limit the amount of "art direction", allowing the artists to express themselves directly.

Specifically, with these Play Smart Trading Cards, we selected 4 photographs to create work for these 12 trading cards and stickers. Of those four photographers, two are HIV positive and one is Asian American. We only asked the photographers to create sexy, sporty images. We did not direct their concepts or selection models, however of the nine models, one is African American, one is Asian American, one is Latino and at least one model is HIV positive. To distribute these for fee, as a non-profit organizations, the photographers and models were kind enough to donate their time and services for this cause.

With that said, I agree that there could still be more diversity in these trading cards. We certainly were not trying to leave anyone out, and I will keep this in mind when producing our next set of Safer Sex / AIDS Awareness campaigns.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts. If you would like to speak further about this or share your thoughts on how to grow and diversify this project, please feel free to contact me at nsantos@visualAIDS.org.

Also please visit our website at www.visualAIDS.org

Sincerely,
Nelson Santos
Associate Director