Essay on "It's Never Just HIV": Helpful or Harmful?

Essay on "It's Never Just HIV": Helpful or Harmful?

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With the emergence of HIV over thirty years ago, it has been estimated that more than half a million people have died from AIDS in the United States. As of 2006, approximately 2.2 million people in the United States are HIV positive with roughly 50,000 new infections per year. The most alarming statistic is that 20% of people that are HIV positive are unaware, making them susceptible to passing on the infection unknowingly. Public health programs have been working since the emergence of HIV to educate the populations, trying to give them the knowledge and the tools to protect themselves from infection. As more information has been collected about the transmission of HIV and the relevant social behaviors of susceptible populations leading to transmission, public health programs have been adjusting their messages and methods.
Current advertising has switched to very visual advertisements targeting certain populations. The New York City Health Department is one of the organizations joining this growing trend. In December 2010 they released the campaign “It’s Never Just HIV.” The advertisements in question use very graphic imagery and sensationalize the effects of HIV and long-term anti-retroviral therapy. The conditions featured in the ad, such as osteoporosis and anal cancer; occur in a small percentage of cases and usually only in older HIV positive populations. The campaign aims to combat the complacency about HIV that occurs in response to hyper exposure to HIV drug advertisements. Studies have shown a correlation between increased exposure to anti-retroviral therapy advertisements and high-risk behavior, noting that subjects are more likely to believe that HIV isn’t such a serious disease owing to the portra...


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Mamary, Edward, Jacqueline McCright and Kevin Roe. "Our Lives: An Examination of Sexual Health Issues Using Photovoice by Non-Gay Identified African American Men Who Have Sex with Men." Culture, Health & Sexuality IX.4 (2007): 359-370.
Murray, Patrick R., Ken S. Rosenthal and Michael A. Pfaller. Medical Microbiology, 6th Edition. Philadelphia: Mosby Elsevier, 2009.
Rothenberg, Randall. "Talking Too Tough on Life's Risks?" New York Times 16 February 1990.
Strub, Sean. “’It’s Never Just HIV’ Ad Campaign Oversimplifies the Issue.” Huffington Post 2011 йил 4-Jan.
The City of New York - Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. "New Health Department Media Campaign Shows How HIV Can Compromise Health and Well Being, Even when Treatment Controls the Infection." 7 December 2010. NYC.gov. July 2011 .


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