The NYC Department of Health, which recently has made a name for itself by publicizing startlingly graphic public service announcements, has release a new ad about H.I.V.
The tag is "it's never just H.I.V." and the video, which resembles an NBC drama promo, goes on to explain how the virus can lead to other terrible diseases like osteoporosis or dementia.
But the video, which shows only men and flashes graphic illustrations of broken bones, and even documentation of anal cancer, is striking some as far too aggressive a campaign.
The New York Times reports that the ad is dividing health experts and gay activists alike. Those like Larry Kramer, the founder of the AIDS activist group Act Up, think the commercials are effective. "This ad is honest and true and scary, all of which it should be," he told the Times. "H.I.V. is scary, and all attempts to curtail it via lily-livered nicey-nicey 'prevention' tactics have failed."
Others think the message is exploitative and unnecessarily graphic.
"We know from our longstanding H.I.V. prevention work that portraying gay and bisexual men as dispensing diseases is counterproductive," said Marjorie Hill, chief executive ofGay Men's Health Crisis. "Studies have shown that scare tactics are not effective."
WATCH the ad, and tell us what you think: