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Philadelphia AIDS ad pulled

Philadelphia AIDS ad pulled

An advertising campaign urging African-American men to be tested for HIV was pulled last week after black leaders complained about the imagery in the print ads, The Philadelphia Inquirer reports. The ads featured an African-American man in the crosshairs of a gun, with the tagline "Have you been hit?"

Ad developers say the message they were hoping to convey with the ads was that black men--particularly gay and bisexual men--are at a very high risk of HIV infection and that they should seek HIV testing to determine whether they're already infected. But members of the Black Gay Men's Leadership Council say the ad campaign perpetuates violence against black men and against gays. They say the ads are particularly disturbing since gun violence is on the rise in Philadelphia; as of August 6, 238 people have been shot to death in Philadelphia this year.

"Above and beyond the obvious issues of scapegoating and demonizing HIV-positive people, for a campaign to simulate gun violence in a city that has been ravaged by gun violence, I'm almost speechless," Mark McLaurin, founder of the New York State Black Gay Network, told the Inquirer. (The Advocate)

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