You can always pop a pillBMJ 2001; 322 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.322.7289.804 (Published 31 March 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;322:804
- Gavin Yamey, deputy editor
- Western Journal of Medicine
Gavin Yamey looks at direct to consumer advertising of HIV drugs
On billboards and bus stops in the Castro, San Francisco's gay district, advertisements for HIV drugs show beefy male models looking the picture of perfect health. Similar ads in the local gay press show beautiful men climbing mountains or sailing boats. These direct to consumer ads are perfectly legal in the Unites States, so is there anything wrong with these upbeat images?
The city's daily newspapers certainly thought so. “Dubious message in bus shelters,” read the headline in the San Francisco Chronicle (15 March). The paper reported that a band of AIDS activists, together with the Department of Public Health, believe that the ads send out “too positive a message” about living with HIV.
“San Francisco to consider banning some ads for AIDS drugs,” said the Mercury News (15 March). Its story focused on the possibility that the city might become the first in the United States to outlaw these ads altogether.
Activists believe that the ads do not give an accurate picture …