Logo to air HIV PSAs starring 'Avenue Q' puppets

Jan. 22, 2013 at 10:39 AM
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NEW YORK, Jan. 22 (UPI) -- Jeff Whitty, the Tony Award-winning book writer of "Avenue Q," has penned six U.S. public-service announcements intended to raise awareness about HIV.

To air on the Logo cable television network, the spots will feature popular puppet characters from the stage musical, such as Lucy the Slut, Rod and Ricky.

The first "puppet service announcement" is to debut during the 90-minute Season 5 premiere of "RuPaul's Drag Race" Jan. 28.

Each on-air spot will be complimented by six separate online spots. New spots are scheduled to roll out every eight weeks throughout 2013, Logo said.

"It is the goal of this partnership to reignite a discussion around HIV [human immunodeficiency virus], especially in the gay community -- a population that is still seeing HIV rates rising in spite of increased awareness and education," Amy Wigler, Logo's senior vice president of marketing and creative, said in a statement Monday. "These 'puppet service announcements' will use the comedic talents of 'Avenue Q' to fearlessly address issues surrounding infection including frequency of testing, anonymous sex, stigma, open communication and more."

"We are very proud to be partnering with Logo on this important effort. Throughout its run, the 'Avenue Q' puppets have been able to tackle key issues -- from presidential elections to same-sex marriage and now HIV awareness -- in their own, singular heart-'felt' way," said 'Avenue Q' co-producer Robyn Goodman.

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