Viacom Including HIV Awareness Storylines in Programming Through "KNOW HIV/AIDS" Partnership With Kaiser Family Foundation
April 22, 2005
In the coming months, the media group Viacom will include HIV awareness storylines in some shows as a part of its "KNOW HIV/AIDS" partnership with the Kaiser Family Foundation, the AP/Long Island Newsday reports (Rhoshalle Littlehohn, AP/Long Island Newsday, 4/21). The campaign -- which is aimed at raising HIV/AIDS awareness through PSAs, television and radio programming, and free print and online content -- targets both the general population and groups hardest hit by HIV/AIDS, such as people under age 25, women, minorities and men who have sex with men. The 2004 campaign included 40 targeted ads that ran across Viacom's broadcast networks CBS and UPN; cable networks MTV, BET, VH1, CMT: Country Music Television, TV Land, Nickelodeon, Nick at Nite, Showtime, Spike TV and Comedy Central; 185 Infinity Broadcasting radio stations; and billboards, buses and bus shelter advertising. In addition, MTV, MTV International, Nickelodeon, BET, VH1, Showtime, Sundance Channel and Infinity Broadcasting aired special HIV/AIDS-related programming throughout the year (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 1/26). UPN on Tuesday will air an episode of the sitcom "Eve," in which Shelly -- played by rapper-actress Eve -- wants go to "the next level" with her boyfriend, but he insists that she get an HIV test, the AP/Newsday reports. Showtime's drama "Queer as Folk" also includes HIV/AIDS-related storylines. "It is a serious subject, but it's OK to laugh in these situations," Meg DeLoach, "Eve" creator and executive producer, said, adding, "I've taken several HIV tests, and even when there's no reason to be worried, I worry. Oftentimes, you're just terrified. The flip side to the terror is that nervous laughter of what the results are going to be. But you can't laugh until you know what's going on."
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This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.