Monday, September 7, 2009

Misspent Aid Money

Photo: A lot of money is spent on this sort of material, which is all very well. But much of the HIV prevention, treatment and care work is done by volunteers.

Since HIV/Aids has been identified, tens, perhaps hundreds of millions, have been spent on advertising, marketing and publicity. Great, the more people know, the better. However, people who are 'experts' in advertising, marketing and publicity do not seem to know much about public health, nor do they seem to care. So campaigns have received a lot of attention for a short time.

Well, that's what advertising, marketing and publicity are all about. But it's not what public health is all about. People have human rights that relate to health, as well as other basic benefits. Human rights are not a matter of a quick (and extremely expensive) campaign. People need to be aware of their rights and those who are in a position to do so, should object when people are denied their rights.

There are many examples of the excesses of advertising, marketing and publicity campaigns but one featured on the BBC website yesterday certainly takes the biscuit. An Adolf Hitler lookalike is shown having sex and represents HIV, so to speak. For any viewer, Adolf Hitler could just as easily represent a HIV positive person. If the viewer is HIV positive they will experience the sort of stigmatizing attitude that they and other campaigners have spent years fighting against.

So well done to the advertising, marketing and publicity industries. They always know how to make a bad situation worse. Let's hope that their lack of success at achieving anything permanent results in this campaign having as short term an effect as all their other travesties. The worrying thing is, who insists on continuing to give millions of dollars of aid money to these idiots? Sphere: Related Content

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