Christopher you write “It has been suggested that there is a definite need to refresh the public awareness campaign, but without resorting to the scare-tactics required in the 1980s.”
WHO has made this suggestion, please?
Clearly with so many people contracting this appalling illness there is a need for the kind of hard-hitting scare-tactics which Germany has recently introduced. I thought I saw a sexy German picture the other day. It showed two naked figures, one standing, the other kneeling. The person kneeling was sucking off the person who was standing. I thought to myself: what an enormous cock that guy is sucking! On closer inspection I saw that he was sucking the barrel of a deadly pistol. A good hard-hitting image that drives the message home.
Its a real concern that more & more people seem to think its OK to have unprotected sex, especially in the case of oral sex, where a lot of people say “but the risk is so low, there’s hardly any point in using a condom”.
Hard hitting campaigns are constantly suggested however I am not convinced of how effective they are long term from the studies out there. I feel campaigns reducing stigma increases testing and open discussion on the subject. I work with kids who say they have not had a safer sex talk from their parents and they wish they had the talk so they could have avoided problems with sex.
A lot of people I know with HIV are keen on hard hitting campaigns…but it is odd they mostly contracted HIV during the tombstone adverts when it was supposed to be at its most effective.
There are issues with the German campaign since we have clear evidence that oral sex is very low risk for HIV Trasmission (http://www.aidsmap.com/en/news/5B19F672-3D18-42DC-94EE-AD038F69E1B6.asp).
There is also increasing evidence that treatment as prevention has an effectiveness (maybe 70% – study says 92% but I’m not sure – http://www.onmedica.com/newsarticle.aspx?id=9837372a-3bdf-439c-be35-a2c2c719506f).
So a campaign that is realistic about what HIV is not trying to scare guys with Aids that is effectively over in rich countries encouraging testing treatment is the way forward.
One last link the ever wonderful The Body on why guys still take risks: http://www.thebody.com/content/art56400.html
The link above got tangled in my bracket sorry : http://www.onmedica.com/newsarticle.aspx?id=9837372a-3bdf-439c-be35-a2c2c719506f
Just to make a small correction to your story…
“All of the diagnosed cases involved those aged between 25 and 44.”
I know for a fact that the figures are wrong, I was diagnosed with HIV in February and I’m only 23