The graphic “It’s Never Just HIV” campaign by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has divided AIDS activists who disagree about its effectiveness at curbing HIV risk in young men who have sex with men (MSM), The New York Times reports. The ad warns that HIV increases the risk of osteoporosis, dementia and anal cancer. The ad uses scary music and images, including a gory photo of anal cancer. AIDS activist Larry Kramer supports the ad, but many groups do not, such as GMHC, GLAAD, NAPWA and Housing Works. The debate hinges on whether scare tactics reduce HIV risk or increase stigma. This ad is the latest in a series of graphic NYC public service ads tackling health issues such as smoking, obesity and childhood poisoning.

To read the Times article, click here.

POZ bloggers also have weighed in on the issue:

Death Anus Ad From NYC Dept of Health” by Sean Strub

Do Scary HIV Prevention Ads Make People Safer?” by Trenton Straube

Anally Afraid” by Oriol Gutierrez

NYC’s Public Service Failure” by Tim Horn

Is NYC HIV Prevention Ad Going Too Far?” by Dave Capogna