Wednesday, January 26, 2011

NYC's 2-Page Contract for Scary HIV Ad
Omits Measurable Outcomes

I loathe practically all social marketing targeting the America faggot about his health care needs and dealing with sexual infections, including HIV. These campaigns, which the late gay thinker Eric Rofes labeled violent and harmful to the community and an individual's health, are so rarely tied to actually improving gay health with measurable outcomes.

It's sickening the way we allow our (infected) faggots bodies and very complex wellness requirements to be commodified by health departments and AIDS Inc groups, through endless and needlessly provocations with PSA videos, bus shelter and newspaper ads, and web-based programs.

What we have are health bureaucrats targeting us, and justifying their jobs too, to have discussions, as with the recent fear driven HIV prevention ad from New York City's Department of Health, and talk is all they are after.

Important matters - increased testing for HIV and other infections, transmission reductions, other defined goals and objectives - are missing from the foundation of the "It's Never Just HIV" campaign. The prime Joan Rivers outcome desired by NYC DOH is talk, talk, talk. Success is measured by stories generated, angry conversations at HIV panels in Manhattan, blog posts and buzz.

Sorry, but after a few decades of this advertising approach to gay wellness, we should either have better health outcomes or end the campaigns and put the money into paying for doctor visits by low-income men of color hustling the peep shows along 8th Avenue in Chelsea.

Check out the report from Housing Works about an HIV panel getting some answers from the DOH:

NYC Department of Health’s Dr. Monica Sweeney continued to defend the contentious HIV prevention video that many activists called offensive and sensationalistic when it debuted on TV in December.

“We need to think of all the possible ways . . . to get people’s attention, because HIV definitely isn’t on the front page anymore, at least not until this ad came out,” she said, speaking to an audience of more than 100 people at a crowded Ryan White Planning Council meeting in Manhattan. ...

With direct health services for gays suffering due to lack of enough funds, screw getting people's attention for a vague newspaper to generate ink by manufacturing a controversy. Meet the full required health care needs of the community, then let's talk about social marketing.

Below are the two pages I received from NYC DOH further explaining their rationale for the recent ad. Yes, the factors listed as in need of addressing are vital, but I can't accept that the best way to contend with prevention fatigue and drug misconceptions and everything else is through a 30-second spot. Direct services and a multiplicity of educational messages, not all based on fear, would do a lot more to attain wellness.

If there are measurable gay wellness outcomes in this document, or the 61-page contract sent last week, I've missed them:

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