Quebec Health Department Introduces ‘Racy’ HIV/AIDS Awareness Advertisements
Quebec health officials have introduced a series of "racy" HIV/AIDS awareness advertisements to "warn people that love is a double-edged sword," the Montreal Gazette reports. The ads, which feature the slogan "AIDS is still around," feature a man and a woman in a "common" sexual position framed within a double-edged razor blade. Another shows a long syringe, also within a razor blade, with a small Quebec flag in the bottom corner. The ads will run through Feb. 9 in French- and English-language weekly newspapers and will be posted in select restaurant and bar bathrooms, and the government has also created two French-language radio advertisements. Dominique Breton, spokesperson for the province's health department, said, "We wanted to remind young people the threat of AIDS is still here. It's sad, but young people still associate AIDS with drug addicts, homosexuals or with certain ethnicity. They forget it can happen to them, too." AIDS advocates "welcomed" the campaign, saying that young people are reluctant to use condoms or be tested for HIV and other STDs, according to the Gazette. Robert Rousseau, managing director of Action Sero Zero, an AIDS prevention program, said, "They think it's a thing of the past or only for older people. They think if their sexual partners are the same age, there's no risk. And then there's what I call 'magic thinking' -- that it won't happen to them." Alain Bonnes, volunteer coordinator for the Comite des Personnes Attientes du VIH, an advocacy group, said, "There has been nothing on the subject for so long so it's good to remind people sex can be dangerous. But the campaign has to be supported by other interventions, especially in schools" (Solyom, Montreal Gazette, 1/15).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.