Creepy Ad Watch

by Patrick Appel

Michael Specter applauds the above PSA:

This [ad] has sent a number of H.I.V. activists into a frenzyand many have demanded that the city pull the ad. Why? For the same reason that Larry Kramer, who founded both Gay Men’s Health Crisis, the New York-based H.I.V.-advocacy group, and ACT UP, was ostracized in the early days of the epidemic: unpleasant truths are never welcome. ... Nasty messages are unpleasant and they don’t always work. But they do work sometimes, and there is research to suggest in cases like this, where it has become easy to shrug off the truth, harsh reminders are particularly effective. (You can find a series of exchanges that stakes out the positions of each side in great detail here.) 

Michael Petrelis is much more skeptical of fear-based HIV prevention efforts, as am I.