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December 1, 2001
8:36 AM   Subscribe

Sensing that improved drug treatments were breeding a new recklessness, the AIDS Committee of Toronto launched an ad campaign, aimed at gay males, with an old message: use a condom. Are people today aware of the dangers of unsafe sex, or is this simply one of those messages that can't be repeated enough?
posted by transient (2 comments total)

 
I was an early teenager when aids came onto the scene as 'the gay disease' and a late teen when I came out and aids was recognized as having the potential to infect anyone. I took to heart the use a condom advice, having been thoroughly scared by the alarm that was raised.

Over the years, I've continued to see the message getting out there - not as loudly - but persistently in sexuality-related information sources. But what strikes me is that the message has been subsumed along with many other messages, and has become one among many instead of the primary message being delivered (I don't even know if there is a primary message anymore). So I can see how this message is getting lost in the noise as it were, and how it's importance has faded in the change of generations.
posted by holycola at 11:00 AM on December 1, 2001


I clearly recall, as a young man, when the UK government began its public information campaign for the first time. It was condemned for being too confrontational - it was amusingly parodied by Kit and the Widow at that year's Edinburgh Festival with the ditty "Mr Norman Fowler* says, begging your respects, please refrain from all forms of VIOLENT ANAL SEX!!!".

Confrontational, perhaps. But informative. The 'primary message' doesn't appear to me to be either complex or ambiguous - avoid the interchange of bodily fluids or risk incurable disease.

In my view, those benighted individuals who have never had the benefit of that information deserve an entirely different kind of sympathy from those who have, and elect to ignore it.

* The incumbent Secretary of state, social services, famed for his rather blunt manner. (info)
posted by RichLyon at 12:32 PM on December 1, 2001


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