AIDS: Danger to Everyone Essay

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Advertisements are known for promoting products to consumers but another effective purpose is to raise awareness. These kind of advertisements often include topics that play on people's fears, such as diseases, which include secondhand smoking, sexual harassment, and cancer. Even though these fears affect many people, one that has expanded over the past few decades and continued to do so is AIDs. This disease had spread worldwide throughout the human population and became a pandemic. A health organization from France, a French anti-AIDS organization called AIDES, created a controversial ad that featured Superman with AIDs. He is dressed in his famous costume sitting on a hospital bed breathing through an oxygen mask connected to an IV tube. The French advertisement extinguishes stereotypes about people infected with AIDs, and at the same time, promotes awareness of this deadly disease.
The history of AIDs has changed greatly throughout the decades to prove that no one is exempt from contracting it. As shown by this ad, the phrase "Aids makes us equal" proves that AIDs has the potential to kill anyone, even people who are viewed as invincible—Superman. According to the New York Times article, "30 Years In, We Are Still Learning From AIDS," by Lawrence K. Altman, unlike smoking or getting cancer, AIDs affect all heterosexual and homosexual men, women, and children of every race and age through sexual activities, blood transfusion, or genetic inheritance (Altman 1). Therefore, it does not specifically target a particular race/class/age/gender/orientation as people would assume—even superheroes can contract the disease. Superman always has his powers and muscles but in this case, he is stripped of both aspects. He needs an oxygen ma...

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The French organization chose Superman to endorse the message of how AIDs discriminates against no one, and emphasizes society's close-minded perceptions on the disease. Instead of promoting AIDs as a negative thing or shutting it down altogether, it educates people to have safe sex. In this case, the advertisement is used to sell ideas, give information, and alert a great amount of people. It is a deadly disease that has continued to kill many people increasingly over the years. One important lesson that it carries through its changes is that it does not discriminate against anyone. With the rising crisis, the organization AIDES worked to advocate safe sex and the importance of condoms. They used every person's hero, Superman, to warn them of the fatal situation. Its controversy emphasizes the message of the ad and remains embedded in the minds of its audience.

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