Impulse Group South Florida, a non-profit organization that focuses on the health of the gay community in the region (Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade Counties) takes the HIV/AIDS epidemic very seriously.
The group is dedicated to educating about HIV, especially in areas and with groups where new infections continue to rise.
Besides the educational component, Impulse encourages HIV prevention by facilitating testing opportunities, providing condoms and other materials for safe or safer sex. The group also provides resources for those who learn they are HIV positive.
They have good reason for their resolve. The statistics for South Florida and HIV/AIDS bear out negatively for the region:
- As of January 31, 2014 Miami-Dade County ranks #1 in the state of Florida for number of new HIV cases and AIDS cases. There are 27,035 people living with HIV/AIDS in Miami-Dade County.
- As of January 31, 2014 Broward County (Ft. Lauderdale) ranks #2 in the state of Florida for the number of new HIV cases and AIDS cases. There are 17,632 people living with HIV/AIDS in Broward County.
- The State of Florida ranks number three in the nation in the number of newly diagnosed HIV infections as of 2011 and is second in the Nation for the number of AIDS cases reported.
- MSM contact accounts for 47.5 percent of living HIV cases in Miami-Dade County.
- MSM contact accounts for 61 percent of living HIV cases in Broward County among males.
- Heterosexual contact accounts for 70 percent of living HIV cases in Broward County among females.
Gustavo Morán, advocacy director for the Impulse Group South Florida, says that "The images you are about to see represent the key messages that Impulse Group South Florida have selected to use as our primary marketing for the Spring 2015 through Winter 2016 season."
The campaign's models were chosen from a cross section of young men living in South Florida's LGBT community.
Morán says, via email, that "Impulse Group South Florida hopes individuals will not only find the images powerful, provocative and stirring but also asks that you interpret the images based on your own reality."
At the end of the day, Morán said, the message the Impulse Group sends through this campaign is only effective if those most at risk take a deep, introspective look at themselves.
"Read our messaging, absorb the advocacy behind it but apply your truths to what you're seeing, let your guard down, search your soul, evaluate your personal life decisions and be open to re-imagining your lifestyle," he said.