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November 19, 2009
British Red Cross Web Campaign Debunks Fears About Kissing and HIV
An online web video created by the British Red Cross takes on misperceptions that many young people have about HIV transmission, The Guardian reports. In the 60-second ad, British television personality Konnie Huq asks viewers, “If I had HIV, what would it take to get you to kiss me?”
The ad is in response to a recent Red Cross survey of 15- to 25-year-olds, which found that while 85 percent of young people know that it is not possible to contract HIV through kissing, 69 percent still said that they wouldn’t kiss someone they knew to be HIV positive.
The tongue-in-cheek ad—developed by Red Bee Media—shows Huq going through a series of outlandish, unnecessary protective measures such as shaving her tongue and putting on a biohazard suit to try to convince viewers to kiss her.
“Knowing you can’t catch HIV from kissing is one thing—but when young people were asked if this was something they would actually do, the majority still said no,” said Huq, a former presenter on long-running BBC children’s program Blue Peter. “The video is a lighthearted way of challenging some of the negative assumptions people hold and hopefully forcing them to rethink.”
The Red Cross survey also found that while 96 percent of participants said they know you cannot contract HIV by sharing a meal with someone, 44 percent still would not buy food from an HIV-positive shopkeeper.