My reaction: Shocked and appalled ! The L.A. Gay and Lesbian center has released this ad in a number of L.A. based Gay and Lesbian publications in what they feel is an attempt to wake up gay and bisexual men in L.A. to the realities of the HIV/AIDS virus.
I'm extremely offended that after 25 years of dealing with this horrible disease and losing so many lives and shaking the stigma of HIV as a disease that primarily affects gay men, we have an organization within the community that's perpetuating this madness.
I know I might catch some heat from certain people when I say this, but the white gay community has mobilized itself around HIV/AIDS prevention and education almost from the start. The real problem doesn't exist in West Hollywood but in Crenshaw and South Central.
Michael Weinstein, director of Aids Healthcare Foundation in LA released the following statement, ""I applaud the desire to have more personal responsibility in the gay community, but this is not the way to achieve it, "AIDS is not a gay disease. It's not an African American disease. It's not a Latino disease. It is a disease of the immune system."
Earlier this year I had the opportunity to attend a town hall meeting on AHF'S controversial HIV ad campaign, HIV:NOT FABULOUS. I think we would all agree that HIV or any other disease that threatens to end a person's life is not fabulous, but scare tactics used as a prevention tool do not work and only provide a temporary solution to a much bigger problem.
View the ads for yourself here .
I don't know what they were thinking, but allow me to rewrite their ad. HIV is a people disease. Own it. End it.