Friday, November 23, 2007

The Twenty Fifth Anniversary of AIDS

There is a movement to promote AIDS/HIV testing between now and February. Organizers of the Black AIDS/HIV Awareness day are asking the public to know their status and get involved in the education and awareness raising process. America could be more diligent in stamping out AIDS/HIV if it had not be for the homosexual implication of the disease. In the beginning AIDS research was not a priority in this country because it was viewed as some sort of punishment for what was considered an immoral lifestyle. Now twenty-five years later, we still do not allow advertisement of condoms on television, unlike England, Sweden, and other European countries.

The powers that be in television do not accept condom advertisements because that are concerned about the backlash from religious and political leaders who oppose public discussions about sex education and birth control. Once again the powerful dictate public policy, which causes the citizenry to be ill-informed, unaware, and unprotected. This attitude will not change in the near future because it stems from a deep and unresolved cultural conflict in American society.

I am interested to know what others think about AIDS/HIV and the issue of condom advertisement in the United States.


Malcolm: said...

For a country that proclaims to be progressive, many of us here in the U.S. are backwards when it comes to sex education. After reading your post, I started to play back in my head some of the milestones of HIV/AIDS. I think that the Ryan White story made many people realize that this problem went beyond the gay community.

A few years ago, I seem to remember seeing a condom ad on TV. I do not remember what channel/show I was watching at the time. Because I had never seen one before, I was somewhat surprised... in a good way. Here is a link to a story from 2005 that talks about the first condom ad to air on U.S. TV.

It's too bad that more condom ads don't appear on U.S. TV. You are right on about the powers that be dictating public policy in regards to sex ed and birth control. I wish that I could be more optimistic, but I don't see this changing anytime soon.

pjazzypar said...

Hey Malcolm,

Thanks for the link. The United States is a lot less progressive than other high income countries. The way we treat sex education in this country is a prime example of cultural lag, in which ideas and attitudes fail to keep pace with developments in the material culture.

Another example of the backwardness in our society is the lack of health care for all of our citizens. We are suppose to be the richest country in the world, yet good medical care is reserved for the well off. Countries like Canada, Great Britain, and Sweden have socialized medicine that takes care of the citizens regardless of wealth.