“Just Use It” campaign rejected everywhere but LA;
“No Judgmental Bull” edited to run in 15 states
LOS ANGELES (august 31, 2023) AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) continues to promote condom use and free HIV testing with its latest outdoor advertising campaigns, but the billboards featuring a condom-covered banana with the “Just Use It” slogan and the “useacondom.com” URL only will appear in Los Angeles after several national out-of-home advertising companies refused the artwork.
A second AHF ad promoting free HIV testing also is up in Los Angeles, but it will be the only one appearing in other states. The “bullboard” features a giant bull’s head with the words “No Judgmental Bull” and the URL “freeHIVtest.net,” which steers people to a searchable location finder. National billboard companies also balked at the original version of this ad which read “No Judgmental Bullsh*t,” requiring AHF to lose the end of the word.
“It’s judgmental bull that we can’t run an ad with a condom-clad banana. It’s just a piece of fruit,” said Michael Weinstein, AHF president and cofounder. “We may be moralistic in attitude, but the rising rates of STIs in California prove we are hedonistic in behavior. We need blunt advertising to get the point across. As for the word “bullsh*t, I think that ship has sailed given how often we hear the word on television these days.”
In California, case rates of gonorrhea and syphilis rose 22.2% and 30.7% respectively between 2017 and 2021.
AHF’s free HIV testing truly is judgment free and available at a variety of convenient locations. Anyone can visit a Wellness Center, AHF Pharmacy, Mobile Testing Unit, or Out of the Closet Thrift Store to get a quick, accurate HIV test result in just minutes. AHF has nontraditional hours, a walk-in/no appointment needed model, and a commitment to creating spaces where people feel safe receiving potentially sensitive information and services.
A meta-analysis of more than 60 studies on stigma and people living with HIV shows that HIV-related stigma has a detrimental impact on health-related outcomes. People who experience HIV-related stigma are 21% less likely to access or use health and social services, and there are significant associations between HIV-related stigma and anxiety, quality of life, physical health, emotional and mental distress, and sexual risk practices.
The “No Judgmental Bull” ads are running in 32 cities in 15 states nationwide, including California, D.C., Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Nevada, New York, Ohio, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, and Washington.
The “Just Use It” billboards are up in the six following central Los Angeles locations:
- Hollywood Blvd e/o Highland
- Broadway s/o 5th St
- Beverly 300’ w/o Vermont
- Wilshire & Highland
- Palms Blvd. @ Motor
- Beverly Blvd. n/l w/o La Brea Ave.
AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the world’s largest HIV/AIDS healthcare organization, provides cutting-edge medicine and advocacy to more than 1.8 million individuals across 45 countries, including the U.S. and in Africa, Latin America/Caribbean, the Asia/Pacific Region, and Eastern Europe. To learn more about AHF, visit us online at AIDShealth.org, find us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok, and subscribe to our AHFter Hours podcast.