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News Roundup [abridged Versions Appear In The Paper Journal]

Switzerland launches naked poster campaign to stop AIDS

BMJ 2006; 332 doi: (Published 18 May 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;332:1174
  1. Katy Duke
  1. Vienna

    The Swiss government has launched an AIDS prevention campaign showing athletes taking part in dangerous sports while naked, under the slogan “No Action Without Protection.”

    The eye catching campaign was launched in conjunction with new mixed statistics about the disease, showing that although the infection rate is dropping in heterosexuals and drug users, it continues to rise in men who have sex with men.

    The 2006 campaign for the ongoing Love Life, Stop AIDS project features fencers, motorcyclists, and ice hockey players, all completely nude. The idea is that they are vulnerable without their protection.

    This campaign is just the latest in a long line of controversial AIDS prevention messages in Switzerland, including one in which people planning to cheat on their partners were warned that infidelity should always come with a condom, and another that encouraged hotels to put condoms next to the bible on bedside tables.

    Roger Staub, the head of the Swiss health office's AIDS section, said that the campaign was not designed to be controversial but that it needed impact to get the message across.

    According to the new statistics, a fifth of newly infected people knew that their partner had HIV/AIDS and yet still had unprotected sex. Dr Staub said that there was only so much that the government could do. “We're living in a society where if you want to kill yourself you can,” he added.

    The Love Life, Stop AIDS project is sponsored by the Federal Health Office and the Swiss AIDS Federation and its SFr2m (£0.88m; €1.3m; $1.7m) annual budget covers posters, television and cinema adverts, and an online platform that gives advice and facts on HIV/AIDS.

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