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Sunday, November 22, 2009

Hot models with HIV need Hazmat sui... kisses too.

“Yeah, and I heard talking to someone with HIV on the phone is dangerous too.” This British Red Cross spot with Konnie Huq focuses on the fear many people still have of close contact with anyone who is HIV positive or living with AIDS. According to them:

“For World AIDS Day 2009, the British Red Cross carried out a survey of 16-25-year-olds in the UK, which showed that 85 per cent knew you cannot catch HIV from a kiss. Despite this, 69 per cent still wouldn't kiss someone with HIV. So while people's knowledge about HIV is generally good, that doesn't necessarily translate into action.”

Maybe not, and I see where they’re going in trying to alleviate the bias and fear, but the focus of any spots these days would seem to be prevention of HIV transmission. With half of all new cases of HIV infection affecting those 25 and under (likely due to relaxed attitudes towards sex), seems like that should the main focus for any sort of HIV education efforts these days.


Marcelo Negrini said...

You should be more sensitive. HIV-positive people suffer a lot of prejudice. This is a disease that cripples people socially.

Yes, prevention IS the most important thing, but there's no harm to advocate for an end on prejudice.

Remember, people with AIDS are victims. Of a virus, not of a previously infected person. This message is usually lost in campaigns for prevention.

Try to chat with someone with AIDS before criticizing such initiatives.

mtlb said...

You may have read a little too much into it, especially since you agree with my point that prevention is the most important thing.

Advocating a reallocation of priorities is not insensitive, just practical. Of course there's bias, not saying there isn't, but apathy becomes a problem when you take your focus off the main goal.

A generation sees Magic Johnson living longer and think HIV/AIDS is manageable, and not the guaranteed death sentence it used to always be seen as. This breeds complacency, reflected in the increased infection rates in that under 25 crowd.

I haven't seen near the volume of HIV/AIDs prevention PSAs that I used to, rather, a focus on living infected. (Good article on that mindset here.)

"Remember, people with AIDS are victims. Of a virus, not of a previously infected person."

Not sure of your point. Infection is how it's spread, no? (And while a tiny fraction of the overall total, deliberately in some cases.)

And I have talked with infected people.