"Avenue Q" and Logo Team Up for HIV Awareness

The Logo network and the Broadway musical "Avenue Q" have joined together for a six-part series of HIV awareness and prevention public service announcements (PSA) starring puppets from the Broadway hit. The first PSA will debut during the fifth-season premiere of "RuPaul's Drag Race" on Monday, January 28, at 9:00 p.m. (ET/PT). The partners will then introduce a new "puppet service announcement" every eight weeks during 2013.

According to Amy Wigler, Logo's senior vice president for marketing, the partners' goal for the national awareness campaign, which is sponsored by pharmaceutical company Gilead, is to revive discussion about HIV, especially among gay individuals. Incidence of HIV among men who have sex with men is still increasing, stated Wigler.

"Avenue Q" puppets Lucy the Slut, Rod, and Rick will star in the PSAs, written by "Avenue Q" book writer Jeff Whitty to address topics such as: removing HIV stigmas, speaking frankly with sex partners, encouraging frequent HIV testing, and adhering to HIV treatment schedules if infected. Wigler says the PSAs will encourage people to "spread the word, not the virus." The PSAs will air first on the Logo network, and then online at www.logotv.com/ and the AfterElton website at www.afterelton.com/.

In "Avenue Q," a cast of 20-something humans and puppets move to a big-city neighborhood, learn to cope with adult life, and find their purpose. The popular musical won three Tony Awards in 2004. The Logo Network, part of Viacom, Inc., reaches 51 million homes in the United States. Viacom is home to several targeted stations, including MTV, Comedy Central, VH1, and Spike TV.