HIV/Aids

07 September 2009

Hitler: the face of Aids

A steamy new Aids awareness advert showing an Adolf Hitler lookalike having sex is aimed at countering a fall in public awareness of the dangers of unprotected sex.

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A steamy new Aids awareness advert showing an Adolf Hitler lookalike having sex is aimed at countering a fall in public awareness of the dangers of unprotected sex, its German makers said on Sunday.

"We asked ourselves what face we could give to the virus, and it couldn't be a pretty face," Dirk Silz, creative director at the Das Commitee advertising agency behind the "Aids is a mass murderer" campaign, told AFP.

"The campaign is designed to shake people up, to bring the topic of Aids back to centre stage, and to reverse the trend of unprotected sexual intercourse," the agency said.

The ad, due to be screened in Germany on television and in cinemas and available at www.aids-is-a-mass-murderer.com, shows blurred clips of a couple having sex but it is only at the end that the man is revealed as Hitler. A tag line then reads: "Aids is a mass murderer."

The campaign, which also features posters of Joseph Stalin and Saddam Hussein lookalikes en flagrante, was organised with Aids awareness group Regenbogen e.V. ahead of World Aids Day on December 1.

Aids has killed around 30 million people worldwide, and almost 6,000 more die every day, according to the campaign. World War II is estimated to have killed around 60 million people. The advert has been criticised for stigmatising people infected with HIV, the virus that causes Aids. – (Sapa/AFP, September 2009)

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Dr Sindisiwe van Zyl qualified at the University of Pretoria before working for an HIV/AIDS NPO in Soweto for many years. She was named one of the Mail & Guardian's Top 200 Young South Africans in 2012.

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