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AIDS Project Los Angeles is launching a new campaign in the City of Angels to turn the tide against the high HIV rates among black men who sleep with men.
The campaign is titled "Let's Flip the Script" and hopes to encourage open discussion about HIV/AIDS among gay and bisexual African-American men as well as their family members and friends. Seven billboards at locations in L.A.'s Crenshaw district, Hollywood, and along Wilshire Boulevard will depict groups of men in several environments central to black communities, including a barbershop and a park. More than 5,000 bookmarks with art from the campaign were printed for distribution throughout the city. "Flip the Script" is an expression that means to change direction.
"One in three black men who have sex with men in Los Angeles is estimated to be living with HIV/AIDS," said Craig Thompson, APLA executive director, in a statement. "We all need to wake up to the reality of HIV in black gay communities and begin honest conversations about homophobia, racism, and disparities in resources--the dangerous signposts for HIV risk in these communities."
Terry Smith, APLA's associate director, said in a statement, "This campaign features highly visible, contextualized representations of black men who have sex with men. Through it, we are talking to black men and also to their mothers, their family members, their loved ones. We want to encourage dialogue through a campaign that affirms the lives of black gay men and urges all who see it to do their part to reverse high HIV rates in these communities." (The Advocate)