Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Faith, Hope, Love, and HIV (Part 1)

There's an ad campaign that's taking positive words like faith, hope, love, joy, honesty, and respect to communicate something about HIV.  Well, maybe.  The name of the organization is optimistic, from the perspective of anyone who's studied community health promotions.  HIV Stops With Me is a great name for an organization dealing with HIV.  Each poster in the metro stations is flanked by a few vague statements.  The first is, "I control my mind and body," the second is, "I decide what happens," and the the third is, "So-and-so, positive since YYYY."  Let's hope that the first and second statements help individuals to realize that they are responsible for the thoughts that lead to actions through which they can contract HIV.  Let's hope that those individuals realize that even if condoms worked 99% of the time (and they don't), if one uses condoms one-hundred times, then that person should expect the condom to fail at least once.  As it is, such failure should be expected much, much more than one percent of the time.  To the population that is HIV positive, the fact that people are living longer with HIV is good news, but it comes with immense responsibility; for all of the years that a person lives with HIV, he or she must be sexually abstinent, or else marry someone who already has HIV in order to prevent the spread of HIV.  For a person who has HIV to risk transmitting it to someone who is HIV negative, is to play Russian Roulette with somebody else's life, and should be considered a form of homicide at worst or manslaughter at best.  To the population that is HIV negative, the fact that people are living longer with HIV should be a warning, more of an encouragement to be abstinent until marriage to an HIV-negative man or woman.  Over the next several blogs, we'll take a closer look at different posters from this ad campaign, and their corresponding statements online.

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