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|Advocates still struggling with effective HIV prevention strategies|
|by Bo Shell|
|January 19, 2011 14:37|
About a month ago I wrote a quick blog about an HIV-prevention commercial produced by New York's Gay Men's Health Crisis called “It's Never Just HIV.”
It turns out I'm not the only one with an opinion.
The ad harshly addresses several complications that can happen to those with HIV, including osteoporosis, dementia and anal cancer. It's presentation is quite ominous, and even shows a flash of what actual anal cancer looks like.
I called the PSA a “sound word of warning to those who think HIV is purely a manageable disease,” and that while treatments have improved, there are other health issues HIV-positive people might encounter. I still think it's a reasonable “wake-up call.”
Questioning whether or not that ad was too graphic, I intentionally avoided addressing the ad's potential effectiveness. I've never studied how this or any kind of HIV prevention strategies affect transmission rates, so guessing at it would be purely conjecture.
Mark S. King seems to know a little more — OK, a lot more — than I do about the topic. And he's pissed.
In a blog posted earlier this week, King and POZ Magazine founder Sean Strub “joined a chorus of advocates who are furious over a fearful New York City public health commercial,” arguing that fear-based messages don't change long-term behavior.
Even better, King includes a short video with Strub addressing “Five Things About HIV (They're Not Telling You,” which include “An undetectable viral load may rival a condom” and “Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) is effective.”
Both of the concepts are new to me, and both seem pretty edgy compared to the prevention messages I've seen, but I'm all for anything that's really going to lower transmission rates.
No matter where you stand on these issues, it's evident that our community is still struggling with effective HIV prevention strategies.
Watch King and Strub discuss the topic:
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