January #55 : Eye of the Beholder - by Shana Naomi Krochmal

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Table of Contents

Work 2000

Take This Job & Love it!

POZ Work

Editor's Letter


Glaxo Makes a Deal

For Whom the Nobel Tolls

Homesick Blues


"Dutch" Treat

Eye of the Beholder

Shout Out

LA Women

Missing Persons Report

Catching Up With Michael Johnston


Oink, Oink

A Define Mess

Do Ask, Do Tell

Primary Colors

A Modest Proposal

Portrait of the Artist as a Sex Bomb

Play It As It Lays

Beginner's Luck

Follow Your Heart

Next Up...The lowdown on what’s inside the pipeline

Stool's Gold

Comfort Zone

Wart's Up, Nurse?

Herb of the Month

Cancer Answers

Watch Your Hep

Boys' Night Out

Most Popular Lessons

The HIV Life Cycle


Herpes Simplex Virus

Syphilis & Neurosyphilis

Treatments for Opportunistic Infections (OIs)

What is AIDS & HIV?

Hepatitis & HIV

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January 2000

Eye of the Beholder

by Shana Naomi Krochmal

The debut of the new San Francisco AIDS Foundation (SFAF) gay-focused prevention posters in October—above is one of three variations—set tongues wagging. “People make assumptions about the image, which is what the campaign is about—making assumptions about status,” said SFAF’s communications director, Gustavo Suárez. POZ appointed a red-ribbon panel of condom connoisseurs, and then appointed each opinion a score (1-5).

Walt Odets, PhD
Prevention theorist
I was a little puzzled by the design. But I find most stuff like that not very interesting graphically. I think it’s intelligent. It acknowledges that people aren’t using condoms every time, but that they are conducting negotiated safety and that disclosure needs to be part of that. But some positive men who only see one of the posters directed at them might feel they were being singled out for special responsibility.  SCORE: 3

Michael Musto
Village Voice columnist
It’s really good. Honesty is generally not the best aphrodisiac, but in cases like this, it still needs to be encouraged.

But what is this—a big flower made of pecs? What the fuck is that? I’d rather see two men sitting in bed. I know that’s pretty literal, but this is some kind of artsy collage, and I don’t know if that’s necessary.  SCORE: 4

Steven Gibson
program director
Gay men in San Francisco have learned to give the p.c. answer: “I assume all of my partners are positive.” But they don’t really. This looks at the rift between what’s the right thing to say and what men actually do.  SCORE: 4

Hal Rubenstein
InStyle magazine editor
I think that the text is supposed to be referring to individuals, but what I see are multiple bodies—the assumption being that this is more about promiscuity than one-to-one contact, which sends a mixed message. Plus, the colors are depressing. They’re just murky.  SCORE: 1

Michael Shernoff
I don’t know what the hell it is. A torso? An atom bomb? The idea is great. The biggest anxiety I hear from patients—and that I felt when I was single—is when to tell. It’s easy to put it off. Then, all of a sudden, it’s the third date and it feels too late. Disclosure could level the playing field.  SCORE: 2

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