HIV ad sexualizes the disease while promoting prevention

Posted at 4:48 PM, Jan 11, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-11 16:48:07-05

WASHINGTON DC (WJLA/CNN) - Health officials released a racy commercial to spread the word about a pill that's 90-percent effective in preventing HIV.

The provocative commercial they're using is raising some eyebrows and plenty of questions from residents.

"Oh, that's crazy. That's super sexualized. You mean that's actually on TV?" said resident Malcolm Coleman.

The ad is paid for by the Washington DC Health Department.

"Our mission is to have people have healthy lives and PrEP, pre-exposure prophylaxis, is a way that's more than 90 percent effective in preventing HIV," said Michael Kharfen with the health department.

The commercial is getting strong feedback from residents, something that Kharfen said it was intended to do.

“We are pushing the boundaries a little bit, but it's grabbing people's attention."

DC traditionally has one of the nation's highest HIV rates. The health department said it found only 10 to 20 percent of people of the people who live in the nation's capital have heard about the preventative drug.

The controversial commercial premiered last week.

The extended version of the ad on YouTube has already received thousands of views.

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