In this most recent video from My Fabulous Disease, activist and POZ Magazine founder Sean Strub and I reveal five things that public HIV/AIDS campaigns are unwilling to discuss openly - things that every gay man should know.
Last month, Sean joined a chorus of advocates furious over a New York City HIV prevention spot that shows horrific HIV outcomes like broken bones, insanity and even a gruesome shot of anal cancer. HIV risk was once again reduced to black and white, when gay men know their sexual choices are more complex.
Keep reading for links to the best (NSFW) and the very worst of HIV ads, as well as to the research backing up my chat with Sean.
You might enjoy comparing the difference between the NYC "It's Never Just HIV" spot (in all its frightful foreboding) to the endearing, life-affirming Japanese campaign "Little Taiko Boy," (left) which presents sexuality in an honest and entertaining manner, complete with music, shirtless dancers, and a drag queen goddess! By the time the goddess presents the film's lovers with bejeweled condom packages, I was enchanted... and happy for them and their impending bout of safer sex.
Does anything in our talk surprise (or offend) you? Did you know HIV negative people could take a drug regimen immediately after exposure (sexual and otherwise) and greatly reduce the risk of becoming infected? Do you agree that stigma against those living with HIV may be greater now than ever before? This is an important community discussion, and I'm always up for constructive debate or dissent.