Filmmaker Uses Powers For Good

HIV PSA Hits Home

Some gay bloggers have told filmmaker Eric Leven his AIDS PSA’s “fear-based”. And, you know what, he’s okay with that. HIV commercials should be fucking scary – or, at least, jarring. This one’s both.

In an interview with Michael Crawford from Bloggernista, Leven explains his – er – position:

I’ve been through the ranks of gay life. I’ve seen it in its most beautiful and darkest arenas. I want to take these experiences and shine light on them. Expose them for what they are and nothing less. I want gay men to start realizing the realities of their own community. I want them to step up to the plate and be a man (whether you’re wearing leather or a dress!) I want them to start taking their lives seriously and thinking before they act.

So, does that mean we can’t snort meth for three days straight, fuck thirty-eight men bareback while simultaneously shooting up with discarded needles? God, what a party pooper!

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  • thatguyfromboston

    Please try to educate yourself about the dictionary, or at least spell-check.

  • 24play

    I give Leven a lot of credit. Not everyone sees a need and immediately moves to try and do something about it.

    The huge problem with his PSA is that it’s not at all geared toward HIV prevention today. It could have been made in 2007. Or in 1987.

    Its message is, “Be afraid of testing positive.” Of course in 1987, any viewer would have immediately completed that thought with, “…or you’re guaranteed to be a dead man in 5 to 10 years, most of which you will spend horribly, repeatedly, and visibly ill.”

    Today’s viewers will probably complete the thought with, “…or you’ll probably only live another 35 years (instead of 45), and you may have to take a few pills every day, and they may have mild side effects, and you could eventually look a little haggard (but if you take steroids you might end up look healthier and buffer than most people.)”

    The biggest challenge in HIV prevention today is finding ways to get people to take HIV seriously when infection’s been demoted from “death sentence” to “manageable chronic illness.” Any prevention effort that fails to take that into account is probably a waste of time.

  • SeaFlood

    People shouldn’t only get tested after they “slip-up” once because of the incubation period. I think this PSA fails because, well… it’s kinda dumb.

  • Allen

    I’ve been exposed recently to the HIV virus. I have to wait until November to see if I am truly positive or negative. I feel like the guy in the ad.

    I know I made a mistake and so did my buddy. I wouldn’t wish this on anyone.

  • Mrs Patrick Campbell

    Better kill yourself now, Miss Allen, rather than have all that worry and anxiety – since you have choosen to believe that “HIV/AID$” crap in the first place.

  • Allen

    Nah, Mrs Patrick Campbell, your comments aren’t worth killing myself over.

  • WWH

    Mrs. Patrick Campbell: shut the fuck up!!!!

    Allen: everything will be fine. Ask around, it’s totally manageable.

  • Mr. B

    Hey, Allen–many of us have been there, too. Good luck with everything, buddy.

  • Ash

    Well, Campbell, (I am not going to address you by your husband’s name, but it’s always nice to see women demeaning themselves by buying into such lovely patriarchal traditions as only referring to yourself in relation to your husband), you are a study in uselessness. Why don’t you save your conspiracy theories for your church group?

    Allen, I wish you all the best. And if it means anything, I’m sending you good vibes.

  • Allen

    Thank you.

    Honestly, I’m really scared. I just know for a fact I cannot tell my family about it, if I am positive. They BARELY handled me coming out 11 years ago.

    Hell, I’m not even angry nor upset w/ my buddy. I’m more concerned that if I am positive that he’ll be upset for infecting me. I really do care about him.

    Anyway …

  • cjc

    Allen, I had my own scare a year or so ago. I turned out negative. I can feel your agony right now, buddy. Keep your head up and hope for the best. I’m with Ash on sending you good vibes/prayers/thoughts/etc.

  • Michel

    Allen, I’m also sending you my best wishes and lotsa good vibes. Be strong–big hugs!

  • Mr. B

    “Mrs. Patrick Campbell” is a cultural reference to a gay icon. But you’re right about the study in uselessness, although he’s less interested in participating in church groups than blowing them.

  • Ash

    Thanks, Mr. B, I’m slightly embarassed for my gay ignorance. But I’m not gay, I’m a lesbian, and I was born in the mid-80s, so maybe I deserve a break. What gay icon is being referenced?

  • Heather_L_James

    Ash, Mrs. Patrick Campbell was the stage name of a popular turn of the century British theater actress. Her most notable role was as the original Eliza Doolittle in G.B. Shaw’s “Pygmalion”, the play that would serve as the basis for the musical “My Fair Lady”. You know, the rain in Spain falls mainly on the plains and I could have danced all night…

  • Mrs Patrick Campbell

    Isn’t daily testing the only way to be sure? We mean, if you were tested today and it turned out negative, then how can you be sure of your status tomorrow -what with ‘incubatia periods'(LOL)? Yes, the only way you can be sure is by being tested every day!
    DAILY TESTING will be the new mantra!

  • Ash

    Thank you, Heather! Yes, I am of course familiar with “Pygmalion” and “My Fair Lady.” I may not have known Campbell’s name, but I am a drama student and I bet I could school most of the theatre fags out there.

    I feel young and silly.

  • Paul Raposo

    Allen, I really don’t know what to write that may console you, but I hope things work out ok for you. Let us know how you’re doing.

  • Allen

    I will and thank you again. :)

  • blayne

    Mrs. Patrick Campbell, you are a disgrace to the gay community and to some of our best leaders and thinkers—of which you are neither—who are no longer hear because of this awful disease. I don’t know how, where, or from what you arrived at your ridiculous conclusions, but my guess is that it was from your education from Cobra videos about the risks involved which you now regret and redirect in all of the wrong ways. I have no good wishes for you because the day you shut up will be a good one.

  • parisinla

    i think this is a great Ad

  • Mrs Patrick Campbell

    Can you read, Miss Blaine?

    Every single case of “AID$” we have had personal contact with was on drugs, including mj and poppers. Either that or they had severe immune problems from birth and took endless rounds of antibiotics on top of the other drugs.You don’y ‘catch’ AID$, it is NOT contagious and has nothing to do with sexual contact.

  • Mrs Patrick Campbell

    and what is “cobra video”? we don’t even watch pron. we don’t have to.

  • Allen

    Just to let you know … I took the tests and I am … HIV-.

    I’m very happy and I told my friend first. We’re both relieved, but going to be playing safe next time. :)

    Thank you guys for your concern!

Comments are closed.