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AHF Continues Stigmatizing #HIV Campaign

AIDS Healthcare Foundation, the largest service organization in the history of the world allegedly, continues their campaign called “Trust Him?”

AHF does some good work, I will imagine, but the continuance of decisions that rock the HIV awareness and activism boat makes it pretty hard to ever brag on them.  It’s probably why I listed them among the HIV crazies of last year.  This campaign, “Trust Him?”, continues that path marked by bad public relations, and an attempt that has me wondering if they are in this for prevention or for news bites?

Here are a few of the recent billboards created by AHF for this campaign.  (All images used are available here.)

 

What are your thoughts?

Do you think this campaign is stigmatizing by continuing the old message of “lying” and “intentionally transmitting HIV”?  Or are we all, including The Stigma Project, being too sensitive?

Let me know in the comments below. 

And here are few of the mock ads generated via social media.  These are pretty funny! 

13 Comments Join the Conversation →


  • Charlie Talley Jr

    I think the campaign sets us back in the fight to end HIV Stigma and get people talking about Prevention and Treatment. This is 2015 stop using scare tactics, They don’t work or help!

    • Thanks for the feedback!

  • Andrew

    Uhhh this makes me sick and im going forward this like its hot!!

  • Logan B

    I have been doing some HIV awareness and education in Cyprus (please look it up on a map… when you google the beaches here you will want to visit!). Today I facilitated a workshop on HIV, art, and activism and referenced #truvadawhore and the fight against PrEP AHF has leveraged. HIV stigma is extremely pernicious here on the island, and when I described the campaigns of AHF against PrEP my workshop participants, who are painfully aware of the repercussions caused by HIV stigma, were indignant, angry, and saw right through the campaigns (despite the fact that I held my own tongue and played devil’s advocate). I do think trust is an issue when it comes to status disclosure but these ads, at their core, do more in the way of stigmatizing the virus by means of scare tactics (and they certainly are not left off the hook for including a diverse representstion of people, commendable thought that may be).

    • Thanks for the feedback! 🙂

  • Mike

    Ya know, you can’t always ask for an ID card that says hey I didn’t fuck up my life by having sex with someone I fell in love with or liked so strongly that we gave it a shot. You have to trust people sometimes and if we become those people who brand us like a the modern day plague, than we are no better than those who point the finger a us. I agree that we should be a part of the solution and not the problem and that includes all who fight for the cure. But when you show outrage like you did, when they are trying to bond men and women together as a race of humans and not gay vs straight or black vs white. Trust is a hard thing to come by, when you really need it from someone they will either be honest and make the right choice or dishonest and bring shame to a group of people who desperately want to make a change. It’s a long hard battle we fight and bumps, potholes and toll bridges will always stand in our way, but they do not stop the fight, lets find another way of addressing the discomfort and pain you feel, they didn’t do it on purpose to hurt anyone, they are trying…Lets help them try.

  • Brent Allan

    Here is what someone needs to do.
    1. Ask to get a copy of their campaign brief. This will have been done in house and/or with the design agency and will outline the rationale including product testing, placement strategy and target bias.
    2. As a publicly funded company they have no right to withhold the information contained in the brief. If they try, complain to their funder or demand a Freedom of Information request (I am writing from Australia so check your laws but I bet they are similar).
    3. Critique of the product is obvious but what you really need to get your hands on is the background program logic behind the campaign because that will show you if they followed any best practice in its design and delivery.
    4. If they have no program logic or failed to follow what was constructed – you can actually mount an assault not just on the product but an abject failure of process. For any company this is far more damaging than the critique of the product.

  • Buffalo Gough

    Hello fellow fighters, if you support the idea of a HIV free future, then we really have to get to grips with trust! We started with safer sex because you could see the barrier – which reinforced trust, but the bottom has to trust that a water based lube is used, we all know the math. The fact that you could see something of the safer sex campaign helped massively and yes it wasn’t perfect but it works a darn site more than having to trust your sexual partner to have taken their tablets properly – all the time and that the medicine still works and they are undetectable. Safer sex was better because it is a barrier method of protection, and you can carry your own condoms and lube, so you can insist on Safer sex rather than quiz your sexual conquest about their medication taking habits and your last blood test. Just get into rubber…..

  • bradfordmcintyre

    Many gay men are in support of using condoms, and PrEP only when used
    with a condom. HIV infections are increasing all around the world
    because people are having sex without condoms. There is support for the
    article and the campaign.

  • bradfordmcintyre

    Many gay men are in support of using condoms, and PrEP only when used
    with a condom. HIV infections are increasing among gay men around the world
    because people are having sex without condoms. There is support for the
    article and the campaign.

  • bradfordmcintyre

    Many gay men are in support of using condoms, and PrEP only when used
    with a condom. HIV infections are increasing among gay men around the world
    because they are having sex without condoms. There is support for the
    article and the campaign.

  • red baron

    I think that they are promoting stigma under the guise of get tested if you don’t trust your partner. Hiv is not a stranger to sexual life and health of others. They couldn’t possibly thing that is helping at all, it’s still hard for many others with hiv to have a discussion about status and how to better bridge people together and have it out in the open without being accused of being deceptive, they need to fire their advertising department who thought that this was acceptable.