Wednesday, September 14, 2005

HIV Article

The Guardian had a very interesting article in the Weekend supplement on Saturday about HIV perceptions and the (flawed) subsequent government investment in HIV Awareness. Worth a read.

The celebrity campaign mentioned can be found here.


Giskin said...

Hmmm... This is a provocative, well-researched article. I think their criticisms about ineffective targeting of black and gay groups most at risk from Aids are well made, but I have reservations about the assumptions they make about the ad campaign. Why should featuring celebrities be assumed to be aimed at heterosexuals? If you flick through AIDS journals you can see how drug ads stereotype gay men (muscular and camp). I'd be very wary of a niche billboard campaign aimed at specific sections of the British population -- I reckon this would come across as patronising. When is the government going to be brave enough to feature people actually suffering from AIDS in a campaign rather than glamorous, healthy individuals?

aj said...

I definately agree. It is nigh-on impossible to target a proportion of the populace when using a medium that is all-encompassing - almost a naive suggestion in the first instance.

AIDS is an issue that needn't be glamourised by pouting celebrities - maybe if people realise the true nature of the disease, they can appreciate the message more effectively.

This whole charity wristband phenomenon eclipses the issue in a major way. Crazes themselves are short-lived and forgotten - do we want these important issues to be dealt with in this way? A survey of children showed they were more interested in the supposed connotations of wearing different coloured bands (pink = gay, yellow = single etc) and didn't know what many of the bands represented.