CDC campaign ‘Testing Makes Us Stronger’ targets black gay, bisexual men

The campaign kicks off Sept. 27 in Atlanta, Houston, New York, Baltimore and Oakland, said Richard Wolitski, deputy director of the Behavioral and Social Science, Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention at the CDC. Wolitski spoke during a media roundtable today at the conference.

The campaign is part of the “Act Against AIDS” program initiated by the White House in 2009 and is a five-year, $45 million investment.

The campaign features positive images of black gay men, who are affectionate with each other, in an attempt to do away with the stigma surrounding HIV and AIDS, particularly within the black community.

“These men haven’t seen each other represented in HIV campaigns in the past,” Wolitski said. “I think this campaign is a huge step forward.”

The “Testing Makes Us Stronger Campaign” includes these components:

• A series of national online and magazine print ads in outlets targeting black gay and bisexual men.
• Outreach through multiple social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter and blogs targeting black gay and bisexual men.
• Billboard and transit advertising, with a special focus on five key U.S. cities where black gay and bisexual men are heavily affected by HIV: Atlanta, Baltimore, Houston, New York, and Oakland.
• Promotional materials, such as posters, postcard and palm cards, for distribution at community venues. These will be available online for community-based organizations and health departments to download and use locally.
• Outreach activities and materials at Black Pride events across United States.
• Tailored campaign materials for use by health departments and community organizations across the nation.