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15 December 2010



It's a shame GMAD support this add. As I said on another post, I'm more worried about the impact 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 would be real irresponsibility.


What Francis said.

GMAD as hella supporting this bs.
But if they are praising this ad, it could only mean their way and their HIV prevention has failed.

And I really think these images only discourage people who need services, as well as stigmatize them.

Oh well, at least people are talking about prevention and safe sex!


GMAD is right on the money. I applaud them for not sugarcoating the issues.


If this ad helps people to test themselves, their partners and practice safe sex then i'm all for it. The end justifies the means. I do however, see the other side of the argument, which is valid. We don't want to drive people deeper into hiding than they already are. Good news, AIDS cure found in Germany! YAY


I've seen the ad. It gets the Dean stamp of approval. To some, HIV infection is a joke that just leads to taking "a pill a day". That may be true to some but the larger truth needs to be told. Drastic situations call for drastic measures. Unlike Francis1 above, I'm more concerned about those who are not yet infected than those who are alreadly infected.

The truth about HIV infection should be told. I'd perhaps even go so far as to say that persons dying of HIV infection should be front page news every time it happens. Too many people put their heads in the sand like the proverbial ostrich. WAKE UP!


This is a no-brainer. This ad is cruel, stigmatizing and based on fear. It should be pulled.

Aside from the fact that fear-based PSAs have been proven not to work, this ad is a slap in the face to people who are living with HIV. Many of whom are not nearly as dire as this ad would lead some to believe.

Though black gay men continue to get HIV at an unacceptable rate, we still should not stigmatize that group any further than the media and our culture already does.

I've lost all respect for GMAD.



You are an idiot.

The intention of the ad is understandable. However, when new reports come out everyday stating how far the treatment of HIV/AIDS has come, I don't know if the ad is really as effective as people think. I just hope it does not prevent people from getting tested due to fear.

Stay strapped and get tested.


This ad has already proven its effectiveness. I can't recall the last time a psa about hiv got anything more than a casual acknowledgment.

HIV rates are climbing steadily. Something is needed to jolt people from their state of apathy.

Thank you to the minds that created this p.s.a. and thank you GMAD for supporting it.


One thing that we should all do is go back and read "And the Band Played On." In it, Shilts talks about how people began to sugarcoat AIDS and how they were afraid to stigmatize people who had the disease. What this led to was a pussy-footed response to the epidemic.

There is a fine line to walk between stigmatizing those who are HIV positive and at the same time trying to keep new infections at a minimum. There is no easy way. Personally, I support the ad-- it has sparked a discussion and it serves as a very needed counter to the constant drumbeat of HIV-drug ads which tell us how wonderful life with HIV is.

As I said, this is a tightwire, but sometimes we *do* need to scare the hell out of people to wake them up. HIV infection rates have risen by more than 10% in the last few years-- we are very seriously sleeping on this issue, and somebody has to sound the alarm.


All they did was tell the truth though? Why sugarcoat it to protect peoples feelings? Gay men period have a higher chance of Anal Cancer.


This ad tells the truth. However it tells it in the worst way. Reason is it gives those who like to stigmatize the gay community by using sex a reason and justification for their positions. GMAD should be aware of this. Is HIV infection climbing? Yes. Can this graphic PSA possibly prevent someone from contracting the virus? Yes. Can this same PSA be used as a weapon against the entire gay community? Yes. Here's a solution. Re-think the next approach so that it stirs people to think while at the same time not girding opponents of everything gay with weapons.

Jim Pickett

4 words.

Scare tactics don't work.

The research proves this.

The truth should not be sugarcoated,nor should it be turned into the latest edition of SAW. Because that is a lie.

Most of us with HIV will never get anal cancer, despite being at higher risk, most of us WON'T GET IT. Showing a mangled ass is way over the top, especially in an era where anal pap smears are becoming the standard of care, and there is treatment for abnormal cells so they don't grow into cancer...

By the way, most sexually active people have been exposed to HPV, the virus that can cause anal cancer. The two strains that are the problematic, cancer causing ones are very rare.

This is an ugly, factually fuzzy, not-a-little homophobic piece of garbage.

I would love to see data that says this ad got more people to get tested. And I would love to see data that shows the positive outcomes for people living with HIV this ad helped bring about.

Finally, who are these mythological gay men who say things like "I don't worry about HIV, all I take is a pill a day?"
Are they unicorn riding leprechauns?


Freeleo gets it. That's exactly the point of the ad: get people talking and concerned. As someone that works in the health industry, I see a different side to HIV than most people will have you realize. It isn't simply "pop a pill and have a good day." The "pills" have severe side effects...that is, if they work at all. Every few years, most HIV patients have to go through the hassle of finding a new med to work for them, since they've developed a resistance to the old meds. It's expensive.

The ad is also correct in that it can lead to other issues. People reading this posting may have HPV already in their system but since their immune system is strong, they may never have an outbreak. Not so if you are HIV positive.

You may have HIV positive friends that hang around you and smile, go out, and brighten your day...but you don't see them when they are with their health professionals or at the pharmacy picking up their meds. The ad is correct, it's never just HIV. Fact. It seems like people are upset that the ad put the truth out there.

Children need their feelings protected, yes...but not grownups. I don't want HIV and if you are also negative, you should not want it, either. The ad isn't saying round up all HIV positive people and keep them in camps...it's saying protect *yourself* or this may happen to you.


Osiris, you are missing the point: it's not the feelings of adults I want to protect, it's the actions that fear mongering will engender among adults that I want to guard against. Where there is no hope, people bury their heads deeper into the sand and irresponsibility grows. This ad offers no hope.

Rising HIV infection is a depressingly serious issue; let's address it with things that work well and don't have counter-productive side effects, like stigmatization. Finding what works may be tough, but settling for the quick thrill of a rough ad will hurt us more in the long run.


As harsh as this may sound to many, this campaign is not designed to make people who already have hiv feel good or comfortable about their status. It is designed for people who are still hiv negative. It is worded in a way to underscore the seriousness of a positive diagnosis.

Many of the hiv meds work well in the sense that it is virtually impossible to visually detect that a person is poz. However, a person who is attempting to manage hiv is also often dealing with a host of oppourtunist infections that accompany hiv.

There are plenty of ads that encourage people to go and get tested and if you are positive, there are medications that can extend and improve your quality of life.

This ad is saying try harder not to get infected in the first place. This way one can avoid all that an hiv positive diagnosis entails.

It is doubtful that one campaign will ever be able to satisfy both groups.


GMHC get's it. And by the way, their ED is also Black and most of their staff and clients are people of color. I know for a fact that they serve more black gay men a year than GMAD. So who is really out of touch? And who is really looking out for our community? Don't get it twisted. Tokes is the real TOKEN. There are so many ways GMAD fails to get it. This is just another. How many people is GMAD actually helping anyway? I went there once and was treated like crap, the staff need serious training.

chris w

I actually saw this ad while watching the Conan Show. I was so nervous when it aired because I thought they would show the shot of the decaying anus, but they cut that part out. This omission made the ad less severe and harsh. In the end, in my opinion, the ad gives the impression that if a man engages in anal sex, he will get anal cancer. The truth is that most men who engage in anal sex DON'T get anal cancer. The disease is so rare. I know there were a lot of other messages in the ad, but the anal cancer one was most salient.


Thank you, Freeleo. You said it before I could. This isn't about people that already have HIV...it's about protecting those that are negative.


"I don't want HIV and if you are also negative, you should not want it, either. The ad isn't saying round up all HIV positive people and keep them in camps...it's saying protect *yourself* or this may happen to you."

This response is for Osiris, Freeleo and others who say this is about HIV-negative people: I don't separate "HIV-negative people" from the overall idea of "prevention."

There is also a problem with any HIV prevention strategy that does not factor in HIV-positive people. One major tool in prevention is testing and disclosure. It is not an "optional extra" to go along with prophylactics; it is essential. Will this ad help or undermine THAT essential part of HIV-prevention?

Secondly, yes, the research does show that scare tactics don't work. So is this really about HIV-negative people at all? This ad is actually not truthful. Its shrill rhetoric is deceitful and dishonest. Does deceit or exaggeration help people make informed, healthy decisions?

If people are "talking about it", what kind of conversations are they having? Ones that will lead to prevention and good, healthy decision making or ones that promote fatalism, fear and anxiety? And does fatalism fear and anxiety lead to healthy decision making?


Perhaps that's been the problem all along. People who are neg and people who are poz have different concerns. Their issues can sometimes be addressed together but on occasions MUST be addressed separately.

This is a campaign that offers reasons why a person should avoid getting hiv. For brothers who have already contracted the virus this message has come too late.

This campaign provides reasons why people should take the necessary precautions to prevent getting hiv.

Those who are still hiv negative should keep these warnings in mind while they are out making merry this holiday season. Wrap it up.


Watch for the ad to show up in Right Wing campaigns opposing rights for gays because gay sex is something dangerous that carries enormous health risks and that children should be protected from entering into.


Some of you should stop trying to make nice with groups which have historically viewed you with contempt. Who cares what the people who hate you think? The only thing you could possibly do to make them, like you is go straight.

If the CDC announced today that gay sex cured blindness, you would still see some homophobe walking around with a cane and dog.

We have got to try as apply as many tactics as possible to make life better do future generations.


The FACT that people are up in arms over this PSA let's me know that it is doing its purpose! To get people talking!! I applaud Tokes!

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