About a two years ago, I was approached by my step-brother and a colleague to donate some of my time to the Dr. Peter AIDS Foundation. They are both on the Board of Directors and asked me to sit on the Communications Committee. Not only do I donate my time helping the folks at Dr. Peter get their message out, but I’m also a monthly donor. Many of us know people living with HIV and AIDS. Some of us have lost people to this disease. But, too many of us are not doing something about it. I’m asking you today to do something, even something small.
21 years ago, a young doctor in Vancouver began a landmark series of video diaries on the CBC. Dr. Peter Jepson-Young changed the way people across Canada and around the world looked at HIV/AIDS. He put a face and a story to the disease to help people better understand it. He chronicled his journey, making 111 video diaries, right up until he died in November 1992. It is an amazing story that was turned into an Academy Award-nominated CBC/HBO documentary called, The Broadcast Tapes of Dr. Peter. Just before he died, Dr. Peter established the Dr. Peter AIDS Foundation. Twenty-one years later, his legacy lives on in Vancouver’s Dr. Peter Centre.
The Health Initiative For Men (HIM) has just launched a new attention-grabbing campaign, with the tagline, “It’s Hottest At The Start,” that is certainly turning heads. The double meaning tagline used for the ads can be found on some new racy images that show steamy hot sex scenes taking place. The real intention behind the “play on words” tagline is to draw attention to the risk of HIV infections when the risk level is at the highest. Essentially, when someone is first infected by HIV (and most likely don’t know they have it), the amount of HIV in his blood, semen, and other bodily fluids is very high within a few days because the HIV virus is replicating itself very quickly throughout the body at this stage.
“During the first couple of months after infection, HIV is a powerhouse in the sack. In this early “acute” stage of HIV, it is much easier to pass on the virus. If you f-ck without condoms and aren’t completely sure of your partner’s HIV status, get tested. Now you can get an accurate HIV test 10 days after risky sex.”