Call it what it is.... it is Homophobia.
Gosh. Australians happen to be very direct.... (Yes, I know, we Africans are known for our indirectness. Circumloculation. It is rude to be direct, we are taught, then find that in business and the other spheres...., but let us not go into that.)
And, I am one dude who is making my reputation for not biting my tongue where it is appropriate!!!
Anyway, here was a case of Straight Talk vs Morals. And, at first, the Morals seemed to have triumphed... then the Straight Talk was like... you don't hide a disease, and, especially HIV.
Safe sex advocates claimed a victory over Australia's Christian lobby on Wednesday when their HIV campaign posters featuring two men hugging were reinstated at bus stops after an intense online backlash.
The black and white posters, in which one man has his arm draped across his partner's chest and is holding a condom, are part of the Queensland Association for Healthy Communities "Rip and Roll" campaign promoting condom use.
The ads were withdrawn by billboard company Adshel after it received a string of complaints, but the company later reversed this decision, saying it had unwittingly been targeted by the Australian Christian Lobby.
"This has led us to review our decision to remove the campaign and we will therefore reinstate the campaign with immediate effect," Adshel chief executive Steve McCarthy said in a statement.
And, why did the complainers complain? Here it is, from the horse's mouth.
Australian Christian Lobby Queensland director Wendy Francis said she had personally complained about the ads because she had objected to what she said was the sexual nature of the posters.
"They show two young homosexual men in some sort of act of foreplay," she said. "It's talking about a sexual act and I don't think that's appropriate for the general public."
Some kind of foreplay. Two fully clothed men, hugging. One holding a condom. Some kind of foreplay indeed.
Why do people insist on pushing their narrow view of morality down others throats, even to the detriment of something as important as health? Yes, they do.
So, here is the summation.
But Queensland State Treasurer Andrew Fraser rejected her comments.
"Check the calendar, it's 2011," he said. "I think we should call it for what it is and this is basic homophobia."
Uh, straight and to the point. Call it what it is. Homophobia.
Told you, in this week, the 30th year of HIV, one cannot escape HIV.... Nor should we.
Tired of the same old scary HIV prevention message? Well, here is a nifty fun one. And, dude..., I think I do love the friendlier approach! I am not sure that it works, but, I like it!
With an oversized lollipop in his pants pocket and a pink gift bag full of condoms and lubrication, Josh Newbury has perfected the art of the safe-sex soft sell.
On the eve of this weekend's Utah Pride Festival, the HIV prevention specialist for the Utah AIDS Foundation has marshaled volunteers, called the G-Force, to blanket two gay bars with safe-sex kits. Newbury encourages the three volunteers— who are dressed in rainbow colors, belts and suspenders in honor of Pride — to be friendly, frisky and to have fun.
Fear has no place in today's HIV-prevention work.
So when Newbury approaches a man who says he doesn't need condoms because he doesn't plan to have sex, the 24-year-old sounds worried instead of glad: "Really? Why? It's not in the stars?" He puts the kit back in his bag and says, "All right, I've got them if you need them."
Then he pulls out the lollipop to ease the tension.
What's missing is any clinical talk of the ways HIV is spread or that it's incurable.
"It's almost a re-branding," Newbury says of the approach before the team heads to Club Jam in Salt Lake City. "For 30 years, HIV has been talked about in really scary ways. ... People have tuned out."
Ok, ok. I have already clicked the 'like' button, ..... don't seem to have any options for multiple clicks. So I will leave it at that.....
Oh, in Uganda...
Ahem. Ahem..... We don't really want to spread homosexuality... do we? I mean.... anything like this will be striken down by the moralists as 'spreading homosexuality', of course.
But, we do still have huge, high HIV rates, don't we? Cant we spice up the message to make it more fun? Of course we can.....!
Have a fabulous day!