May 23, 2012
The "Status Sexy" campaign uses images of attractive, shirtless men to convey its message encouraging men who have sex with men to be tested for HIV.
Bus stop ads are running in Pontiac and Detroit. The Ann Arbor Transit Authority recently approved the ads for placement in its buses. Advocates see this as a victory since last year, when the campaign was introduced, AATA first approved and then rejected the ads, describing them as "inappropriate."
"Fear, homophobia, racism, and a top-down mentality are factors that we feel enable this epidemic, so we won't allow those factors to guide this campaign" said Will Bowen, community mobilization project associate with AIDS Partnership Michigan (APM). "Everyone is allowed to have an opinion, but the opinions of our community are the ones that matter. We didn't set out to make everyone happy. We're fighting AIDS." Campaign planners spent eight months gathering community input on the concept, which was carried out by the local creative boutique AndSoSheWrote.
Campaign partner testing sites include the HIV/AIDS Resource Center, Washtenaw County Health Department, Detroit Community Health Connection, Detroit Health and Wellness Promotion, EMU Wellness Center, Horizon's Project, Access, Teen Health Center, APM and APM Pontiac. Areas targeted were based on data from CDC and the Michigan Department of Community Health.
For more information, visit www.statussexy.com.