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Author Topic: Living with HIV ads  (Read 5237 times)

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Offline otherplaces

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Living with HIV ads
« on: July 10, 2006, 01:12:53 AM »

I imagine many of you live in cities and are occasionally hit with an HIV med billboard.  I've always found this very strange. I remember years ago standing on a corner near where I work and looking at an HIV billboard and thinking, 'God, I hope that never happens to me'.  Now I always stand on that same corner and think about that memory. Anyway, I see these ads all the time.  They were very troublesome to me while I was waiting for my diagnosis.  Now I don't really care.  I mostly wonder why they're there.  One pops up on the corner 3 buildings up from me all the time.  Currently Magic Johnson is all over the buses in Chicago for Kaletra.  In fact many are directed at African Americans.  I have to assume they're trying to capitalize on the current rise in the African American community in HIV infection...get them on IL ADAP (which I understand is better than most states) and make money.  It just always seems strange to me when I see them.

But I had a weird moment the other day where I thought how strange the ad was and then a few seconds later I thought, 'oh yeah, I have HIV'.  I guess I must be doing better since it was a (albeit quick) second thought.

Your thoughts?

brian

Offline allopathicholistic

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Re: Living with HIV ads
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2006, 01:23:17 AM »
Hi Brian. I've seen big Truvada ads in the NYC subway system. I assume they're there for poz folks to engage their doctors --as in "Hey doc, what's this Truvada? Do you think it's good for me?"

I must admit, when I saw a 6-foot ad for HIV medication for the first time, I had the same reflex sentiment as you. Now I'm like yeah okay whatever

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: Living with HIV ads
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2006, 01:25:58 AM »
It's illegal to advertise any prescription medications to the general public in Australia. I only see such ads on the internet.

MtD

Offline jkinatl2

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Re: Living with HIV ads
« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2006, 01:28:54 AM »
I share the curiosity that another poster mentioned in a similar thread. As these are prescription drugs, how much of a deciding vote does the consumer really have? If, say, Kaletra is appropriate for a person's HIV infection, as determined by resistance/genotype testing and the like, then I can't imagine a doctor "selling" the patient Sustiva instead. Maybe I am more naive than I thought.

"Many people, especially in the gay community, turn to oral sex as a safer alternative in the age of AIDS. And with HIV rates rising, people need to remember that oral sex is safer sex. It's a reasonable alternative."

-Kimberly Page-Shafer, PhD, MPH

Welcome Thread

Offline joemutt

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Re: Living with HIV ads
« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2006, 01:35:25 AM »
No ads for meds here in Thailand. Enough infected people but not enough buying power. If we did they would go something like:
"Ask your doctor for AZT"
"Eternal Youth with Crixivan"
"Viramune, the breakfast of Champions" :-\

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: Living with HIV ads
« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2006, 01:37:35 AM »
That's why the can't advertise them to the general public here, to stop people pestering doctors for drugs they think they need. The majority of prescription medications here are subsidised by the Commonwealth Government so I suspect it's a cost thing.

Prescription medications can be advertised to doctors in appropriate publications.

MtD

Offline otherplaces

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Re: Living with HIV ads
« Reply #6 on: July 10, 2006, 02:09:03 AM »

Jonathan,

Probably out of fear of being (more) depressed I haven't researched who makes which drug and how many pharma companies there are.  But really if some poor poor person sees happy Magic Johnson and decides it's time they dealt with this horrible HIV thing they've been avoiding and sees a doctor and hops on ADAP...the liklihood that that drug company is going to get a hit with their cocktail (I have to assume) is pretty high, or at least fair.

But maybe I'm wrong. Merck, gilead...who else? I guess this would be another thread.

Nonetheless, I'm all for poor poor people being on ADAP. All the 'happy' ads just seem weird.

Oh yeah the other ad is 'Undedectible is JUST THE BEGINNING!!!' In happy script. This one has a gay/straight man on it. I always think, 'no fucking shit.'

brian


Offline Ann

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Re: Living with HIV ads
« Reply #7 on: July 10, 2006, 08:27:38 AM »
No drug ads in the UK either. The first time I read POZ magazine I was struck by how much of it was given over to ads.

Here in the UK, Positive Nation Magazine has usually two drug company adverts. I grabbed one off the shelf at random just now - February 2006. The inside front cover shows two men embracing, with the caption, "Facing the future together". In the lower right hand corner (it's a full page ad) it says
Gilead
Facing the Future

And that's it. No drug mention at all.

The back cover shows an outstretched hand holding a red ribbon. The caption reads,

In their hands it's a sign of awareness.
In your hands it's a sign of understanding.
In our hands it's a sign of commitment.
Abbott Laboratories Limited
HIV CARE
for the duration

And again, that's it. No drug mention whatsoever. I've never understood the purpose of these ads. Are they supposed to make us "feel good", are they meant to make us feel grateful to the companies?

The thing I don't get, is how can the phama companies justify the huge advertising budgets they run through - when people cannot prescribe the drugs for themselves? They shout about how they spend so much on research and development (citing this as a reason to charge the prices they do), but their advertising/promotional budgets are much higher.

Prescription drug adverts of any type should be banned completely. Well, that's my opinion anyway. They just don't make any sense to me, The money from advertising budgets should be funneled into R&D and bringing down the cost of life saving drugs.

Ann
Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline david25luvit

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Re: Living with HIV ads
« Reply #8 on: July 10, 2006, 08:41:23 AM »
Most of the HIV billboard ads I've seen here in Alabama are aimed at getting people to "GET TESTED"...which I think is a good thing.  It does make one "think" sometimes...as if we who are HIV+ need to be reminded.
In Memory of
Raymond David McRae III
Nov. 25, 1972- Oct. 15, 2004
I miss him terribly..........

Offline penguin

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Re: Living with HIV ads
« Reply #9 on: July 10, 2006, 09:18:46 AM »
as ann says, no, fortunately, we don't have to look at these things over here...cynical part of me says it helps the men in white coats maintain their god-like position, knowledge being power, apparently. rest of me says, there is no place for mass marketing campaigns in medicine, this is pills and life-saving going on, not Gap's new season denim after all

yes, in PN there will be a couple, back and front pages, the one i like is the guys hugging, with the guitar slung over-shoulder...and all i'm thinking is not yes, this looks like a mighty fine drug to choose, but instead, i wonder if it would help my (shocking, shocking) lack of music making talent...?

Kate



Offline Cliff

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Re: Living with HIV ads
« Reply #10 on: July 10, 2006, 09:22:36 AM »
I'm in favor of ads for HIV meds.  Yes, many are specifically targeted to the African-American and Latino communities.  I say, we should do whatever it takes to bring the message that someone should get tested and that if they are positive, that there are options available to them.  Unfortunately, traditional sources of THIS information, doesn't reach everyone effectively.

The national black physician association also supports these ads.  Why?  Because minority communities get shafted on healthcare provided by doctors.  They are least likely to be told ALL available options for treatment and are least likely to obtain aggressive treatment for diseases, (which is why they die at higher rates from diseases like cancer, hypertension and heart disease, even when they having FULL access to private/public health insurance).  If the drug companies can bypass doctors and go straight to the consumer, then so be it.

Someone can't select their medication.  But they can discuss with their doctors the fact that they are aware of certain options and the doctor will make the determination of what's appropriate.  Same thing happens here in the forums, when people make recommendation about what meds to take (free advertising for the drug companies).  I'm sure those individuals (seeking the recommendation) take the information to their doctors and at the end of the day, the doctor and the patient decide what's best for them.

Of course drug companies would love to advertise, as this increases revenue.   But this also results in higher usage of medications and greater consumer awareness of treatment options (even if biased towards those that advertise more/effectively).  I'm not convinced that's such a bad thing for the consumer.

- Cliff

Offline Life

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Re: Living with HIV ads
« Reply #11 on: July 10, 2006, 09:45:09 AM »
I saw an ad for Kaletra carved into the side of an Aspen tree..  It was horrible... :D

Offline Terry

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Re: Living with HIV ads
« Reply #12 on: July 10, 2006, 11:32:14 AM »

And again, that's it. No drug mention whatsoever. I've never understood the purpose of these ads. Are they supposed to make us "feel good", are they meant to make us feel grateful to the companies?


Ann, 

 It is the subliminal message that the advertisers for the pharmaceutical companies want you to hear. Ever notice in the popular gay magazines, on one whole page are these hot studs muffins then you have to go to the next page to read the ad for the newest drug they want you to tell your doctor about.

This message being: “HIV/AIDS is no big deal. Just look how healthy theses guys are!” Besides when you do catch the virus (And you will) just take our very well marketed drugs and life will be just like in the ads/movies.

They wouldn’t be able to sell one bottle of their poison if they used pictures of me or the millions of others  who sit hours each and every day on a toilet from the side affects of these meds. 

Many years ago, in San Francisco, at all the city’s bus stops and BART stations, they  posted ads of male nudes embracing. It was clearly gay-erotica. But way down at the bottom in tiny little letters was an ad to go get tested for AIDS.

Ads, for and against Aids and gay marriage have become very powerful political tools in this country. The conservative republican far right uses these issues for profit and political advantage. I have to admit they are good at it. Very good at it!

Terry


Offline DCGuy511

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  • Posts: 61
Re: Living with HIV ads
« Reply #13 on: July 10, 2006, 05:25:31 PM »
The ads don't bother me at all. Most of the ones I see in Washington are related to getting tested. If the "get tested" ads or the pharma ads encourage someone to talk to his/her doctor about HIV and treatment, then I'm definitely all for them. The more information the better in my opinion.

I also appreciate that the drug companies are supporting the Poz-type publications and the gay press. Without the ads, there'd be no magazine. Didn't the drug companies support this forum at one point?
Steve
Infected/Diagnosed Fall 2003
"No Man Is An Island" - J Donne

Offline Chadwick79

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Re: Living with HIV ads
« Reply #14 on: July 12, 2006, 02:21:16 PM »
I live in San Francisco and needless to say, we have ads for EVERYTHING, EVERYWHERE! I see so many ads for getting tested, different ads for meds, and so on and so forth. We also have a HIV vaccine trials unit here at the Department of Public Health. I work in the HIV research section so I see so many ads at work, on the subway and on the streets everyday that I don't even notice them anymore. It is very interesting to hear the reactions of people who don't work in this field because it makes me happy to know that they are even being noticed.

Having said that, I must admit that the ads for meds that are placed by pharma companies make me angry because they are only out for the money. It really isn't to make poz folks aware of the drugs for their own sake. They are there to make you ask your doctor about the drugs so that they can make more money. However, we all should pay attention to those ads and ask our doctors about different drugs so that if there is one that would be good for us and easier to tolerate than something we may already be on.

Offline The Canuck

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Re: Living with HIV ads
« Reply #15 on: July 12, 2006, 02:47:00 PM »
Quote
I share the curiosity that another poster mentioned in a similar thread. As these are prescription drugs, how much of a deciding vote does the consumer really have? If, say, Kaletra is appropriate for a person's HIV infection, as determined by resistance/genotype testing and the like, then I can't imagine a doctor "selling" the patient Sustiva instead. Maybe I am more naive than I thought.

Jonathan..you're not naive and this is EXACTLY what I think on the subject. Prescribed drugs are a totally different matter than meds for headaches and the like. What would be the used to make ads for '' Dilaudid '' by example ? None and feel the same for HIV+ drugs or any other prescribed drugs.

Regards,

The Canuck

Offline Trish

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Re: Living with HIV ads
« Reply #16 on: July 12, 2006, 03:20:19 PM »
I'm in favor of ads for HIV meds.  Yes, many are specifically targeted to the African-American and Latino communities.  I say, we should do whatever it takes to bring the message that someone should get tested and that if they are positive, that there are options available to them.  Unfortunately, traditional sources of THIS information, doesn't reach everyone effectively.

The national black physician association also supports these ads.  Why?  Because minority communities get shafted on healthcare provided by doctors.  They are least likely to be told ALL available options for treatment and are least likely to obtain aggressive treatment for diseases, (which is why they die at higher rates from diseases like cancer, hypertension and heart disease, even when they having FULL access to private/public health insurance).  If the drug companies can bypass doctors and go straight to the consumer, then so be it.

Someone can't select their medication.  But they can discuss with their doctors the fact that they are aware of certain options and the doctor will make the determination of what's appropriate.  Same thing happens here in the forums, when people make recommendation about what meds to take (free advertising for the drug companies).  I'm sure those individuals (seeking the recommendation) take the information to their doctors and at the end of the day, the doctor and the patient decide what's best for them.

Of course drug companies would love to advertise, as this increases revenue.   But this also results in higher usage of medications and greater consumer awareness of treatment options (even if biased towards those that advertise more/effectively).  I'm not convinced that's such a bad thing for the consumer.

- Cliff

I agree with Cliff simply because had I not seen an ad for Truvada on the subway and in Poz mag, as well as gaining info on this forum, I never would have known about my options.  I had been on Viread & Epivir along with Lexiva and after seeing an for Truvada I learned that I had the option of reducing the amount of pills I had to take, albeit just one pill less but just the same I had the chance to switch.  And the side effects were much easier to deal with.

I think it is important for people to know they have options and it is only through these ads that people are aware of this fact.  And the fact that many people, especially the poor regardless of their ethnicity, don't own a computer, or have access to one, makes it difficult for them to obtain all the information that we have.  So what's the problem with advertising?  Okay, yes I get it, big pharma wants to boost their sales, and the ads they put out show healthy studs and all, but doesn't it make sense to get the message out in the general public that there are medications and options to help even though they are toxic and come with side effects?

Personally, I'm thankful I saw an ad for Truvada, and spoke to my doctor about this option... I switched and am happy that I had the chance to do so.

Just my 2 cents.

Trish
"People grow through experience if they meet life honestly and courageously. This is how character is buit."  Eleanor Roosevelt

Offline krakerjm

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Re: Living with HIV ads
« Reply #17 on: July 13, 2006, 03:27:36 PM »
We have one of the few Magic Johnson clinics in the country which I go to.  No billbords or bus ads here, but TV ads are poping up about getting  testing.  It is the deep south(eventhough Florida: north Fla, like south Georgis) where these things aren't advertised.
GWM, 63, PN w/footdrop
"I swear there ain't no heaven, pray ther ain't no hell"

Offline MitchMiller

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Re: Living with HIV ads
« Reply #18 on: July 14, 2006, 10:09:08 PM »
I believe many of the ads placed in public places are targeting HIV negative gay men and minorities (the expendable segment of the population).  They convey the message that HIV is no big deal.  I believe the rising infection rate, especially among gay men, supports my conclusions.  The images of smiling, healthy individuals are prominent in most ads.  Congress was at least astute enough to force drug co.'s to retract the ads featuring gay men mountain climbing several years back.  I think they need to step in again and force drug companies to paint a true picture of this disease in their ads.  Why do the ads need pictures?  They could simply say in bold print something like... IF YOU HAVE HIV, YOU MIGHT WANT TO READ THIS AD.
I can only imagine the parallel that might be drawn in ads for atripla and one a day multivitamins... in subtleties like nifty slogans.  ..."After 20 years you've got to be tired of that condom.  Why not trade in it for a for a "one a day."
« Last Edit: July 14, 2006, 10:17:14 PM by MitchMiller »

Offline jkinatl2

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Re: Living with HIV ads
« Reply #19 on: July 14, 2006, 10:15:26 PM »
<<" After 20 years you've got to be tired of that condom.  Why not trade in it for a for a "one a day.">>

:::shudder:::

Isn't that where we are at now?

"Many people, especially in the gay community, turn to oral sex as a safer alternative in the age of AIDS. And with HIV rates rising, people need to remember that oral sex is safer sex. It's a reasonable alternative."

-Kimberly Page-Shafer, PhD, MPH

Welcome Thread

Offline lydgate

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Re: Living with HIV ads
« Reply #20 on: July 14, 2006, 11:17:16 PM »
There was an episode of Queer as Folk, fourth season I think, which addresses just this problem of ads for ARVs -- smiling happy muscular people who are a pretty much a visual proclamation that HIV treatment is no biggie. Brian has started his own ad agency, Kinnetic, and he's up against his old agency for a lucrative new account, a new ARV that's going to hit the market. The old agency does its presentation -- conventional, radiantly happy athletes who all look like they're going to participate in the Gay Games. Brian does something completely different -- fairly stark visuals in B&W, portraits of ordinary people, with texts like "One day at a time" or something like that. (Brian gets the idea from Ben and Hunter, the poz father-son duo: Ben doesn't want Hunter looking at the ads and thinking treating HIV is a picnic with pornographic possibilities.) Of course, Brian gets the account. I'm not an especially ardent fan of QaF but I thought that was a good episode.

I watch too much TV. My current addiction is Oz, have gulped two seasons in four days.

Jay
Her finely-touched spirit had still its fine issues, though they were not widely visible. Her full nature, like that river of which Cyrus broke the strength, spent itself in channels which had no great name on the earth. But the effect of her being on those around her was incalculably diffusive: for the growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs.

George Eliot, Middlemarch, final paragraph

Offline CalvinC

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Re: Living with HIV ads
« Reply #21 on: July 15, 2006, 12:12:07 PM »

And who would have known that a smart looking birthday boy, first grade, would one day end up watching that homoerotic Oz!!

Andrew

Offline Oceanbeach

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Re: Living with HIV ads
« Reply #22 on: July 16, 2006, 01:26:29 AM »
When I was a little kid, I remember a TV commercial which remedied "iron poor tired blood,"  In all these years, I have never known one person who had "iron poor tired blood," it was just advertising.  As a college student, I majored in Media Communications and became the Advertising Manager for the paper on campus.  It was a paid position and I got a 50% commission on everything sold, soon after graduation, I opened up an Advertising Agency so advertising has for the most part been my life.

Advertising is not culture or art, it is a business and every business has a client.  For that client and the agency to make a living, someone has to pay.  Doctor will always have to take the time to talk about the newest wonder drug as seen on TV, that is doctor patient relationship building and most I have spoken with on this topic do not mind.

Logging in to this site tonight, I saw a Kaletra banner ad at the top of the page.  It is that advertising and others that keep this site open for all of us to share and whether or not we actually use that product is really up to us and our doctors.  Have the best day
Michael

www.Commission-on-AIDS.org a lobbying site with no paid advertising

 


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