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A recent advertisement in New York City using graphic images to urge residents to seek HIV testing has caused controversy in the city, but activists are saying it sends exactly the right message.
The advertisement intended to show that even though HIV is no longer a death sentence, it can still cause major damage to an individual's quality of life, according to the New York Times. The TV spot shows a graphic image of anal cancer to underscore the importance of using condoms.
While some critics said that the ad from the New York City Health and Mental Hygiene Department was sensationalist and gratuitous, others said that it effectively drives home the point that it is critical to practice safe sex and seek HIV testing.
"It's about time," Larry Kramer, founder of the advocacy group ACT UP, told the news source. "This ad is honest and true and scary, all of which it should be. HIV is scary, and all attempts to curtail it via lily-livered nicey-nicey 'prevention' tactics have failed."
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said that HIV testing is the most effective way to stop the spread of the disease.
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