France Launches Graphic Anti-AIDS Campaign
January 2, 2003
French AIDS activists plan to shock young people into AIDS awareness. On the day after Christmas, the National Association for the Fight Against AIDS (AIDES) launched a public campaign featuring a character wearing a penis-shaped hood. The character, named "Dick," got prominent play in the newspaper Liberation, which ran a series of eight ads urging readers to practice safe sex.Adapted from:
The ads show the character in various poses such as filling his car with gas (license plate: "Love"), fishing, hitchhiking, and drinking in a nightclub. The caption on the latter ad reads, "Beware: Condoms are like good manners -- you forget them when you drink." One ad shows Dick on the toilet and reads, "Condoms are like toilet paper: it's necessary to have them in advance." French TV station TF1 and several national radio stations plan to air campaign spots featuring the new character.
"He's going to stir a strong debate," said Olivier Denoue of AIDES. The aim is to "create a character that will have families talking the day after Christmas, and create an opening for a dialogue between parents and children."
Activists say the campaign is necessary. "We have found a real ignorance about the way HIV is transmitted, and decline in prevention among young people," AIDES said in a statement. The Regional Health Observatory conducted a study in the Paris region and found that in 2001, 24.2 percent of French youths thought HIV could be transmitted by mosquito bites.
12.26.02; Cecile Brisson
This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.