Sunday, September 13, 2009

Germany ad campaign compares AIDS to sex with Hitler  

There's a new AIDS awareness campaign in Germany, and it's hardcore controversial. Rightfully so.

Put out by the German charity, Regenbogen ("Rainbow"), the campaign tries to compare AIDS to a mass murderer - which, admittedly, it is. But the way they go about this is questionable. The posters designed for the campaign show women having sex with Hitler, Saddam Hussein, and Stalin:

There is also a very disturbing commercial to go along with it (not safe for work).

First of all, the highly pornographic nature of this campaign doesn't sit right with me. Is it necessary to depict sweaty graphic sex with thin gorgeous women to convey a message about AIDS?

Second of all, I agree with Chen of Choice Words: "This comparison of AIDS to Hitler is easily read as a comparison of a person with HIV with Hitler. It stigmatizes and demonizes the person with HIV."

I understand that this ad is meant to compare the disease to a mass murderer, but I think it can be easily misinterpreted to label the people living with HIV/AIDS as the "murderers." As we know, each HIV/AIDS case is unique, so we cannot assume that all people living with the disease are clueless and careless and go around spreading it.

I honestly have to give some props to the creators of this campaign because of its creativity, and I know that their intentions are good, but we don't need any more animosity directed towards people with HIV/AIDS.

What next?

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3 comments: to “ Germany ad campaign compares AIDS to sex with Hitler

  • September 13, 2009 at 9:25 PM  

    We already know that scare tactics are not effective in promoting lasting behavioural change. Further, Nazism and the global HIV epidemic have nothing in common and suggesting the opposite is dangerous. I wrote about the campaign here:

  • September 13, 2009 at 11:28 PM  

    I am speechless. I agree that this could be a bad use of good intentions.

  • February 22, 2010 at 7:08 PM  

    Quite honestly, these are simply scary images. I don't feel as though they would really be all that effective in changing how AIDS is looked at through this campaign. More so, using these images to offset the epidemic of AIDS doesn't seem right. It doesn't explain how to protect yourself from AIDS, or take the measures needed to be safe. Instead it simply expects to scare the viewers enough to stay away from AIDS carriers because of how dangerous and scary they might be. This is a ludicrous way to go about an AIDS campaign and I feel as if there are better ways to go about it.