Television to Fight AIDS

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Shows like Gossip Girl and Grey’s Anatomy may seem like mindless opiates for the masses, but they could be a potent tool in the fight against AIDS. “Unfortunately, references on TV to condoms and safe-sex messages seem to be going the way of analog broadcast,” according POZ, a magazine about HIV and AIDS. There are plenty of shows that strongly imply sex, but few include reference to sexual risks or responsibilities. When the shows do inform their viewers about safe sex, however, the effect is potent. In an episode of Grey’s Anatomy, where an HIV-positive pregnant woman “is informed that she has a 98 percent chance of giving birth to a healthy, HIV-negative baby, if she takes the proper medication,” POZ reports that 45 percent of the viewers retained the information. POZ hopes that more shows will follow suit and try to include safe-sex messages, and not just mindless entertainment.

Source: POZ

Image by Gbaku, licensed under Creative Commons.

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