More on the controversial HIV prevention television commercial produced by the New York City Dept. of Health, which warns that gay men who seroconvert are "over 28 times more likely to get anal cancer." To encourage condom use, the spot uses extremely graphic images and many HIV prevention experts have criticized the messaging as "scare tactics." GLAAD and Gay Men's Health Crisis (GMHC) want the spot pulled because they fear it further stigmatizes people living with HIV/AIDS.
Not so, says Tokes Osubu, the executive director of Brooklyn-based Gay Men of African Descent (GMAD). "We're getting to the point where HIV is becoming the norm," Osubu told NBC New York. "It's okay, you can just take one pill and it will disappear. But that's not the reality. So we're very happy."
GMAD's position is at odds with many leading HIV/AIDS prevention groups. Their "praise" of the graphic prevention message is likely because Black gay/bisexual men are hardest hit by HIV/AIDS. New data from the Centers for Disease Control show almost one in three Black men who have sex with men are HIV positive. More than 60 percent are not aware of their HIV status. Black MSM HIV rates are even higher in some cities. See our new report, "More Black Gay and Bi Men Are HIV Positive; Most Unaware".
The spot is scheduled to run on cable and broadcast television over the next month. "This ad campaign is causing so much conversation, we have no intention of pulling it," Dr. Monica Sweeney, assistant commissioner for the city’s Bureau of HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control, told NBC New York.
Watch NBC 4's report and the PSA—some images are very graphic—AFTER THE JUMP ...