HomeMediaGay media1988. HIV/AIDS: Australian Safe Sex Ads


1988. HIV/AIDS: Australian Safe Sex Ads — 4 Comments

  1. In 1985 I was working in the health education department at Kaiser Hospital in west Los Angeles. I suggested that we start providing AIDS prevention and education materials to our health plan members. The head of the department thought the idea was absurd. “None of our members has AIDS,” she said. I assured her it was only a matter of time before Kaiser would get its first AIDS patient.

    She had me collect example of AIDS education materials from various organizations. Shanti Foundation in San Francisco and AIDS Project LA were among the few organizations that had AIDS brochures. She took one look at their materials, which were very candid, and declared that they were totally inappropriate. She refused to stock any educational materials on AIDS. I left Kaiser shortly thereafter.

    • Yes it’s amazing just how blinkered some people can be in spite of the overwhelming evidence.During my work as a Social Worker in the AIDS Unit of a Sydney hospital I was forbidden from handing out condoms or providing safe sex information to my clients – people with AIDS – because it was a Catholic hospital. I shall be posting in more detail about this particular episode at some point in the not-too-distant future.

      • Yes a similar thing happened when I was on a social work placement at St. Vincents in Melbourne (later on in ’93). We set up a ‘Youth Health Expo’ and at the last minute we were stopped giving away condoms because the pope wouldn’t approve. Yes, that was the actual explanation we were given – and this in a publicly funded hospital. Wonder if it is still like that?

        • Didn’t one of the most recent Popes approve the use of condoms under certain circumstances? Either way, I think that when it comes down to institutional level such as the two St. Vincents here, it really comes down to individual discretion. In other words, if they’d really wanted to, they could quite easily have turned a blind eye. My experience in the 80s leads me to conclude that they simply weren’t willing to challenge their homophobia – even though they were happy to take public funds to run their AIDS unit.

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