CDC media campaign aims to end HIV stigma

July 16, 2012 at 8:43 PM
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ATLANTA, July 16 (UPI) -- U.S. health officials said they have begun a publicity campaign to combat obstacles to HIV prevention, complacency and the stigma associated with the infection.

Officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the Let's Stop HIV Together -- a national communication campaign including local and national advertising, social media, online and outdoor advertisements -- gives voice to Americans living with HIV and to their loved ones.

"In the fight against HIV, stigma and complacency are among our most insidious opponents," Dr. Kevin Fenton, of CDC said in a statement.

The campaign features people living with HIV standing with their friends and family and calling on all Americans to join the fight against the disease.

"For someone with HIV, love and acceptance can mean the difference between life and death," said Jamar Rogers, a semifinalist on NBC's singing competition, "The Voice," who revealed on the show that he is HIV-positive.

Rogers appears in the Let's Stop HIV Together campaign with his mother, Danielle.

"I'm healthy today because of the love and support of my mother, family and friends, who gave me the courage to get the care and treatment that will keep me singing for decades to come," he says.

A Kaiser Family Foundation survey in 2011 found many U.S. adults report discomfort at the idea of interacting with those who are HIV‐positive, even though HIV cannot be transmitted by saliva, sweat, tears or casual contact.

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