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New global campaign launched to promote condom use (14799)

14799Health News2005-01-13

New global campaign launched to promote condom use

A new global campaign to stop the spread of HIV uses three animated characters dressed as condoms to deliver a serious message in humorous public service spots in 41 languages: If you're going to have sex, use a condom. The short spots are being offered free to broadcasters, community groups, and universities, and they have the potential of reaching 80% of the world's population, Canadian producer-director Firdaus Kharas said Tuesday. "We're using humor to stop the spread of AIDS," he told a news conference launching the public service announcements, which are targeted at young people ages 15 to 24 in places threatened by the epidemic, including India, China, Russia, the Caribbean, and central Asia.

"The Three Amigos"--as the cartoon condoms named Shaft, Stretch, and Dick are called--are pictured in a variety of settings, from a spaceship to a soccer field to a casino. Twenty different spots are available in each of the 41 languages, and they vary in length from 20 to 60 seconds, with some quite blatantly sexual while others are much more restrained in order to appeal to different audiences. The punch line in the spaceship spot says: "No condom, no blastoff. Stop the spread of AIDS." The soccer spot says: "You just can't score without a condom." And the spot focusing on a roulette wheel in a casino says: "Not all gamblers realize the odds stacked against them. Don't gamble with your life. Use a condom. Stop the spread of AIDS."

The ads can be seen online at (AP)

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