June #24 : Just Not Like a Prayer - by Walter Armstrong and Ronnilyn Pustil

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Table of Contents

Nowhere Else to Go

Great Escapes

Gotta Light?

The Great Sex Debate

Made in Japan

Clipped Wings

The Vinyl Solution

Into the Woods

Hazel's House

Open Windows

S.O.S.-June 1997

Mailbox-June 1997

Ad Lip

A Higher Standard

Just Not Like a Prayer

Who's Sore-y Now?

Say What-June 1997

Devil to Pay

Web of Cries

On Pins and Needles

Fatal Attraction

Cocktails for Kids

To B or Not to B

Pot Doc Stalked


Alexander the Great(ish)

POZ Picks-June 1997

Skin Traders

Absolutely Fabregas

Barbarians at the Gates

Borders on Madness

A Second Look

Painful Truths

Before the Revolution

Riding Bareback

The Fleecing of Oprah

Barrier Blues

Mixed and Matched

To Tell the Truth

The Borders of Health

Road Trip Grub Tips

Following Your HAART

TLC for Your Largest Organ

Art and Soul


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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June 1997

Just Not Like a Prayer

by Walter Armstrong and Ronnilyn Pustil

Research ads ripped by religious

An ad is an ad is an ad, but an ad that gets pulled gets publicity. Kenneth Cole, the high-end shoe-and-accessory designer, likes his progressive promotions splashy—in particular, his annual national campaign for AmFAR. Two years ago, one ad that read “If the Pope  had AIDS, he’d need more than your prayers” so mortified Catholics that they threatened a boycott. This year, AmFAR folded early after a mess of press. It yanked the message “Prayer won’t cure AIDS. Research will” from public transit systems in 19 cities nationwide after protest  from people, many of them Texans, who took offense at the ad.

“It’s a swipe in our face. We don’t oppose AIDS research, but our beliefs shouldn’t be offended,” said David Miller, executive director of the Dallas-Fort Worth chapter of the American Family Association. “Prayer does change things, and God can do anything He wants.”

That’s not all. Some school boards and AIDS educators complained about the ad that read “Sexual abstinence won’t cure AIDS. Research will” because they believed it contradicts the information they give kids. A third, about red ribbons, drew nary a peep.

“AmFAR seeks to educate, not offend the public. Since the complaints over two of the ads distract from our crucial message—that only medical research can generate true solutions to AIDS—we have decided to discontinue the campaign,” said AmFAR chair Dr. Mathilde Krim.

“It was the right thing to do from AmFAR’s point of view,” Cole said, “but it’s a decision I regret. With all the talk of an end to the epidemic, the AIDS crisis today is even more urgent than ever before."

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