(Image from Chelsea Now)
Kali Lindsey “Denial Gives Way To Action” gives a touching argument for loving ourselves as an alternative way for HIV prevention.
What is it like to live with AIDS today? Have improved treatments changed the outlook of someone with H.I.V.? Does the stigma associated with AIDS still exist? Eight men and women speak about their experiences. (Join the discussion here.) (The New York Times)
Stop Aids is an example of one of the longest running and most carefully evaluated social marketing programs for AIDS prevention in the world. Its initial audience was gay men, but as the epidemic began to expand it reached out to a truly national audience. Its most important difference was to constantly measure not only condom use, but changing attitudes toward the epidemic. Condom use among men between the ages of 17-30 yrs old, for example increased from 8% to almost 50% between ‘87 and ‘90. One product was the condom, but another product was anti-discrimination and later needle exchange. The Swiss were convinced that as long as AIDS was feared, risky sex would remain underground. The price of prevention was lower than the price of high-risk behavior, because the price of prevention no longer included the fear of discovery. In addition to condom promotion and needle exchange being promoted on radio and TV, community groups were organized, a special Hot rubber brand created for gay men, and new distribution points opened throughout the country for condoms and for counseling and testing.
Created by a joint task force of the Swiss AIDS Foundation and the Swiss Federal Office for Public Health, STOP AIDS is the longest running HIV/AIDS prevention program in the world. It was launched in 1987 as a national, multi-media campaign designed to: (1) increase condom use among Switzerland’s general population and targeted risk groups, (2) reduce discrimination against individuals with HIV/AIDS, (3) increase solidarity among those living with HIV/AIDS and with the rest of the population. Through an advertising strategy of persuasive, gradually phased in messages and mainstream imagery, and a system of constant evaluation, the program achieved successful results during the first few, critical years of its operation. The STOP AIDS campaign remains in place as Switzerland’s primary AIDS prevention program, and is one of the hallmark examples of successful social marketing.
The campaign is based on a learning strategy, the aim of which is to reinforce people’s awareness of the risk, to change their behaviour and to encourage them to take effective measures to protect themselves against infection with HIV.
The national Aids prevention campaign has never tried to get its message across with scenarios that transmit fear, threats or horror. The campaign has always sought to draw on scientific facts in order to make a distinction between situations which could potentially lead to infection with HIV and situations which are not associated with a risk.
The campaign supports the belief that it is not the task of the state to pass judgement on the sexual practices adopted by individuals, and has avoided mixing public health aspects with moral values.
Overall, the STOP AIDS campaign has been a remarkable success* as shown by a large number of indicators, some of which have been evaluated in the course of scientific studies.(Source: Social Marketing WIKI)
Check out the campaign website Love Life