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September 8, 2009

Controversial German HIV Prevention Ads Feature Adolf Hitler, Saddam Hussein

A German HIV/AIDS awareness advertisement depicting a woman having sex with Adolf Hitler is drawing controversy from AIDS advocates, who accuse Hamburg advertising agency Das Comitee of reinforcing stigma surrounding the virus, The Guardian reports. The 45-second advertisement launched on television and in German movie theaters this week and is scheduled to run until World AIDS Day on December 1.

The ad, which can be viewed online, shows a woman and man having sex. The man’s face turns into that of Hitler, accompanied by the slogan, “AIDS is a mass murderer.” According to the article, the print versions of the ad feature Joseph Stalin, Saddam Hussein and other dictators.

Dirk Silz, creative director at Das Comitee, said that the campaign—developed by German AIDS awareness group Regenbogen eV—is meant to “show the ugliness of the illness, not of AIDS victims.”

Search: German, prevention, Adolf Hitler, Saddam Hussein, Joseph Stalin, Das Comitee, Regenbogen eV, World AIDS Day

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  comments 1 - 12 (of 12 total)    

Andrew, Philadelphia, 2010-10-04 10:13:59
I think that these German ads will increase the stigma that many people with HIV are predators and don't care if they transfer the virus. However if I had seen an ad like this before I was positive it may have influenced me to be more careful. So if the ads are proven to be effective at preventing new HIV infections I would me willing to make the sacrifice of running the ads, because I don't want anyone to have to deal with what I've been through and am going through.

Mike Morris, St. Petersburg, Fl, 2010-01-10 11:29:31
I believe that it is time to get tough with people who don't see this disease for what it really is. I applaud your efforts, do whatever it takes to open discussions about it and what it actually is. I have lived with it for 17 years, just waiting for the day that it finally takes me. Making people aware, scaring them if you have to is fine by me.

Amanda, Calgary, AB, 2009-11-19 13:17:33
We had a blog post about this campaign and the consensus was that this was an ineffective campaign. The ad agency was attempting to use shock tactic to make people sit up and pay attention but unfortunately, the campaign fails to actually educate people about HIV. All it has done is stir up a lot of controversy.

Cornelius G Kelly, Albuquerque, 2009-11-02 09:56:20
Hitler as AIDS ad is shockingly disgusting but it makes no sense. Hitler gave no choice he just slaughtered his victims for being Jews. HIV/AIDS does not only attack Jews but everyone. This ad is aimed at attacking Germans and Jews values as a people. The Jews had no choice but we do since we can protect ourselves through education and prevention. I agree with Jay that using the Pope would have been better since he advocates not using condoms and therefore is a living supporter of infection.

Suzanne Kelley, Canton, 2009-10-26 10:23:07
I am disgusted at the way this portrays that it is a man that is the attacker (AIDS) and the women is the Victim. It makes it seem as if the women is being sexually assulted. I understand they want it to have an impact but that is not the impact anyone wants to see. Women are not the only affected ones and men are not the ones giving the decease. I am completely disgusted at the minds who agreed that this was ok to air. There is always a better way to promote safer sex ads.

Richard, Boston, 2009-10-24 10:55:48
Thank you POZ for bringing this to the attention of us in the US. This is appalling; you would think this would have come from some right wing organization not an organization that purports to be an AIDS awareness organization. There is no other message that one can gleam from this dreadful and disturbingly misguided “campaign” other than those of us living with this virus are mass murderers out to victimize the innocent. The creators of this foolishness are defending it, claiming it’s

Jeton Ademaj, Chelsea, New York, 2009-10-22 15:11:45
Who does this ad company think it's fooling? The ad does NOT show thousands or millions of little dictators leaving one person's body to enter another's...the ad has the HIV+ PERSON morph into Hitler. There is no subtlety here, the campaign practically calls for Total War on people living with the virus. the POZ community should treat this ad company in a similar manner. my sympathies go to the apparently clueless charity involved. This is not how a charity wants to become well-known. shame!

Lou, NYC, 2009-09-09 14:54:55
This is just disgusting, hurtful and extremely offensive. As if pwha did not already suffer mass stigmatization simply for carrying a virus.

Jay in SF, San Francisco, 2009-09-09 13:30:43
Touching thought, but a bit cowardly! Going after dead dictators. Now how about using a picture of the Pope - someone who continues to use his position of power to lead to the mass murder of millions because he clings to some false sense of mythology which tells him condoms are bad! Nooooo....that would actually get someone in trouble. No, lets just stick to dead dictators and piss off only the poz folks.

Hans, Berlin, 2009-09-09 09:52:18
Regenbogen is not a German AIDS Charity, it is just a small charity whose aim is to re-integrate handicapped people into normal life. It is financially supported by the regional government of Northern Bavaria and local Rotary clubs. Regenbogen has no financial power to run an expensive tv campaign. They have just lent their name to the ad agency "das comitee" which created this bad campaign and are making themselves visible.

ak, , 2009-09-08 18:07:43
Great! It's just what we need is more of this f------ garbage! When will people realize that there is a hidden agenda by many govt's to begin the process to take our liberties away and round us up. Cheaper to house in penal/leper colonies than out in public..It started with criminalization of those having sex with those with hiv willing or not.Going to prison for spitting...How about VD,syphilis and other sexual diseases?They kill no less and no more than hiv/aids..

ondamaris,, 2009-09-08 17:19:57
there are massive protests by pwha in germany against this campaign. german NGO Deutsche Aids-Hilfe protested. major tv chains today cancelled planned emissions of spot. the group responsible is afaik not well known for any hiv prevention efforts in germany.

comments 1 - 12 (of 12 total)    

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