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10 December 2010


Mystic Stranger

This is a good thing. I remember back when I was in college, there was an article I read called "It's Not Just About HIV" and I think the OTHER stuff they listed scared me as much or more than HIV did. Our risk of catching so many other things is so much higher than the HIV risk and I think we forget that. It's disarming to see it in your face like that, but necessary all the same.


Well...being nice about it hasn't worked so well over the last few years, has it? Harsh, cold reality is and always has been effective at getting people to stop and listen. This campaign gets my approval.


Wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it was gonna be. Given the laissez faire atttitude about HIV among some of our youth it might make sense to pack more of a wallop in these messaging. Don't know how accurate the facts are(and I agree that they need to be accurate) but I think everyone will agree that we need stronger messaging around this issue..especially to black/hispanic youth


I think there needs to be further exploration of this topic. Just by looking up info about anal cancer, it is still a rare form of cancer. In 2008, around 5000 new cases of anal cancer were diagnosed. And that is amongst a population of 300 million. About 60% of those diagnosed are women. And most are diagnosed in their early 60s. But the number of cases is increasing, especially among men. Also, anal cancer is more common among women, men who receive anal intercourse, and people with weakened immune systems. Maybe the ads can be considered a little too alarming, but they cannot be dismissed out of hand. People have known for quite a while that those who are HIV+ are more vulnerable to other STDs and viruses. The bottom line is that HIV and AIDS is no joke. People must always remain safe and responsible. And I always wonder what going on in the minds of those who flat out refuse to heed the warnings about HIV and AIDS. It's time to WAKE UP!!!

Former COGIC

I agree that we need accurate and strong messaging. But the facts here are not in order and are exaggerated.

And as far as scare tactics are concerned, this messagingg generally does NOT work. See: Alarming HIV/AIDS statistics in black and black gay communities some 30 years into the disease.

Oh and HIV rates are higher among black gay men in their 30s and 40s than among teens and 20s. If anyone hasnt heard or learned the messages, it would be the older brothas, but we keep blaming youth.

Former COGIC

And if I''m not mistaken anal cancer is quite rare and more often presents itself in 65+?


I agree with the above comment, being nice hasn't worked so far.

derrick from Philly

Well, I agree with all of the above. I can understand and accept the need for a heavy-handed message to try and get folks to listen, but accuracy is just as important (none of of the HIV+ people I've known has ever come down with anal cancer--even those with the human papiloma virus).

Pictures of mutilated anuses sort of feeds right into those bigots who hate gay men anyway..."see, you see what happens to men who f.ck other men...the booty boogie man will get ya'"


Other causes of anal cancer are being infected with HPV (human papilloma virus) in the anal area, the number of sexual partners, receptive anal intercourse, already having other forms of cancer, age (the older you are increases risk), a weak immune system, smoking, and benign anal lesions like hemorrhoids and irritable bowel disease. But as stated earlier, it is still rare but increasing.


@ derrick from Philly

I certainly understand your viewpoint about how others may perceive this ad, but some people aren't going to like us no matter what. I don't care about those folks at all. And too many LGBT folks are overly concerned about what others think. I think we should be more focused on loving ourselves and stamping out the self-loathing that exists in the LGBT community. That will carry us strongly into the future better than who likes us. That's just my philosophy in life. Take it or leave it.


Obviously, gay/bisexual men are the targets of this ad. All of the people shown in this ad are men. But what about women? What, anal cancer only affects men who takes it up their bums? That may not be what they're suggesting, but certainly a lot of uneducated wanks would make that connection. This kind of scary but unbalanced advertising may be effective initially, but eventually people will rationalize around the loopholes and in the end, all the ad does is further push people into stigmatizing gay/bisexual men as diseased and to be disgusted.

derrick from Philly

" I think we should be more focused on loving ourselves and stamping out the self-loathing that exists in the LGBT community. That will carry us strongly into the future better than who likes us. That's just my philosophy in life. Take it or leave it."

Absolutely, RAVENBACK. I wasn't clear. I've seen the effect those kind anti-homo sex scare tactics can have on gay people. Gay people believing that nature (or God) will punish you for certain sexual behavior. I remember being told 40 years ago that gay men (or sissies as they said back then)didn't live long because they got cancer in their azzholes. It wasn't accurate, and it was meant to scare 12 year old gay boys. It didn't work.


The problem with HIV/AIDS now, is that we have come so far with medication and treatment, that a doctor friend of mine stated he would much rather have HIV than diabetes. HIV is seen as a chronic disease now, not necessarily a killer. That's sort of like a double-edge sword. In a way, it's good that infected persons can still have healthy lives, and in another way people just assume if they get infected it's no big deal. I just wish the medications were around when my cousin got sick, he missed it by a couple of years


@ Ben

What type of doctor would say that he would rather have HIV than diabetes. I have known many people who have moderated their diets, exercise, and lost weight and no longer have diabetes. I don't know anyone who has been cured of HIV/AIDS. Your comment just points out how cavalier some are about HIV/AIDS. Being HIV completely changes your way of life. I sure as hell don't want to be popping pills for the rest of my life.

"It's no big deal." That just takes the cake.


I'm more worried about the affect shock advertising has on those who already have HIV, especially the newly diagnosed.What incentive is there to care about their own health or the health of others when the disease is portrayed as a living hell that ends in a painful or demented death?

I suspect many at risks persons will see this and conclude: "well I've probably got but I don't want to have this slow death sentence confirmed by having a test..." I saw that happen a lot in the eighties and nineties.

Something needs to be done but this isn't it.

We should not let our justified frustration with rising rates of HIV infection lead us to support short term tactics whose results may be as insidious as the problems they seek to solve.



That's why it's imperative that newly infected get under doctor's care immediately. I have worked with newly infected and have been for the last 10 years here in DC, and it's just shocking how far we have come in treating this disease. So for the newly infected, don't read the internet, listen to friends, advertisements, etc. Get under doctor's care.

chris w

I agree with Ben. Everyone, regardless of hiv status, needs to receive the care of a medical professional. Ignore ads, wive's tales, urban myths, rumors, scare tactics, intuition, and folklore. High-quality health care, from a trained professional, matters most. We also need to have a strong desire to live, thrive, and preserve ourselves. No one can give you that. It has to come from within.


Powerful AIDS prevention message. At no point did the message say you would get any of those diseases. It said you increase the likelihood of getting them if you have hiv.

Some of you commented on the rarity of some of those diseases. I've had friends who have had hiv and contracted some pretty exotic illnesses.

I think this underscores the seriousness of the virus much better than those commercials with people skiing or at the beach swimming after taking their magic hiv pill.

Denial even more than AIDS is killing us.



I don't know the situation of your friends with exotic illnesses, but every individual is different. Prevention messages are nice, however, if death is not the ultimate prevention message, then I don't know what is. Yet HIV is still being passed around. I stress practicing safe sex, get tested, if poz get treatment...the more we get people tested and on medication, the more we can get this under control.


@Ben Did you look at the ad? The ad is about not getting the virus in the first place. It's not about getting or some damn meds.

I came out in 1981. I've had a very active sex life. When the CDC told us to wear a condom 25 years ago, I did just that . I test hiv negative every year. I'm not one who is telling you after I got it that you don't have to get it. I'm telling you that condoms and common sense go a long way in preventing ever getting hiv in the first place.


"I came out in 1981. I've had a very active sex life. When the CDC told us to wear a condom 25 years ago, I did just that . I test hiv negative every year."

I could care less about when you came out, you testing negative every year and definitely not your sex life. And for you to be so old and living through the AIDS epidemic(when it meant death), your sanctimonious atitude is very surprising. Before I moved here to DC, I use to think like you. It's a blessing that I am negative, (by the way you and I are not the only negative peeps around) but I definitely will not go around calling peeps who are poz ignorant or lacking commonsense. Cone down off your high horse a little bruh....


You should learn to read with some level of comprehension. I never said people who are poz lack common sense nor was it inferred. Read it again slowly this time and with less indignation..



Mark N.

Wow! I'll never have sex again.

Andy Niable

Thanks for posting this, Rod.

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