The French have no trouble telling people in other nations what prudes they all are. Imagine, then, the global mon dieu! that erupted this past January, when France went frigid—banning an HIV safe-sex campaign for being too sexy. The country’s Advertising Standards Authority nixed the poster—of two naked men, well, frenching—from national media. The poster listed AIDS support info and mentioned that every day in France, four people test positive for HIV. Act Up-Paris vowed to fight the decision, saying it wasn’t about sex per se: “This kind of action is not taken when the protagonists are heterosexuals.” Sadly, in most HIV prevention campaigns, few protagonists get action—of any kind.
April 1, 2008 • By Bob Ickes