UNAIDS’ 2001 World AIDS Campaign Focuses on Male Role in HIV PreventionUNAIDS has launched its World AIDS Campaign 2001, the second installment in a two-year effort aiming to emphasize the role that men play in HIV prevention (Reuters Health, 10/8). The slogan of this year's campaign is "I care ... Do you?," a message that is featured on campaign posters and in public service announcements (UNAIDS Web site, 10/11). The campaign encourages men, especially young men, to actively participate in HIV prevention efforts by "valu[ing] their own health and that of their families and sexual partners." To this end, the effort will seek to "challenge the negative stereotypes about masculinity" that might put men at risk for HIV transmission. Such stereotypes could include cultural norms that discourage men from seeking medical treatment when they are ill, thus preventing them from finding out their HIV status. UNAIDS Executive Director Dr. Peter Piot said, "Part of the effort to curb the AIDS epidemic must include challenging negative beliefs and behaviors, including the way men view risk and how boys are socialized to become men. Men are expected to be strong, robust and virile -- but these very expectations may translate into behaviors that can endanger both men and their partners." The campaign also encourages men to talk to their partners and children about sex and HIV and aims to inspire men to help take care of HIV-positive family members (Reuters Health, 10/8). In addition, the campaign tries to prompt government officials and other world leaders to "renew their commitment to HIV/AIDS" and voice their support for "unified action." The campaign says that world leaders should speak about HIV/AIDS not only in political terms, but in personal terms as well (UNAIDS campaign Web site, 10/11). UNAIDS officials say that the campaign "complement[s]" similar HIV prevention campaigns aimed at women and girls (Reuters Health, 10/8). The theme of the World AIDS Campaign 2000 was "Men Make a Difference."
The campaign will spread its message through posters and public service announcements. The posters feature a variety of public figures, including U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, actor Danny Glover, Brazilian soccer star Ronaldo, pop star Ricky Martin and Swaziland's King Mswati III. The Pan American Health Organization, the Swiss AIDS Federation and the United Kingdom's National AIDS Trust have also produced posters to commemorate the campaign. MTV helped produce a number of PSAs that show young people discussing HIV/AIDS, and other PSAs include messages delivered by Danny Glover, Ronaldo and reggae group UB40 (UNAIDS Web site, 10/11). A UNAIDS Web site devoted to the campaign is available at http://www.unaids.org/wac/2001/index.html.