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posted Friday, December 17, 2010 - Volume 38 Issue 51
Graphic PSA warns of HIV dangers
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Graphic PSA warns of HIV dangers

by Shaun Knittel - SGN Associate Editor

In a new campaign launched December 7, a New York City department of health public service announcement graphically warns Gay and Bisexual men that contracting HIV could lead to other health problems like bone loss, dementia, and anal cancer.

The 'Never Just HIV' campaign is an effort to thwart people from feeling that HIV is not as severe a disease as it once was simply because treatments are more available and effective. The PSA - which briefly features a Gay man with anal cancer - will air on broadcast television for two weeks and then reappear in January for an additional two weeks.

'I hope all New Yorkers will heed the stark message of this campaign and take personal responsibility for their health and that of their partners,' Thomas Farley, New York City health commissioner, said in a December 7 statement. 'We have made tremendous progress in the fight against HIV/AIDS, but this is no time for complacency.'

HIV continues to take a toll on men who have sex with men, regardless of whether they identify as Gay, and the virus is spreading more each year in those under 30, he said.

'This spot should serve as a wake-up call,' said Farley. 'Unprotected sex is still dangerous, and more partners means more risk.' According to the New York City department of health, the PSA targets men who have sex with men - a group that accounts for about 44% of new HIV diagnoses annually in New York City.

Along with the PSA campaign, the department makes these recommendations: Use condoms and lubricant when having sex, and avoid alcohol and drugs when a sexual situation may occur because people are less likely to use protection when under the influence.

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