L.A. Pride: As STDs Soar in California, AHF Bus & Marchers Hail Condoms as ‘Lifesaver’

In News by Rachel Mills

LOS ANGELES (June 9, 2018) AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS organization, is proud to join the LGBTQ community in celebrating the 2018 Gay Pride season through its participation in over two dozen Pride events across the country—in many locations, with its new “Lifesaver” buses wrapped with a lighthearted and colorful condom and Pride-themed graphic.

Next up for AHF—Los Angeles Pride Parade:

  • AHF condom ‘Lifesaver’ contingent in the A. PRIDE PARADE
  • Date:SUNDAY JUNE 10th
  • Santa Monica Blvd. between Crescent Heights Blvd & Fairfax Ave (South Side)
    • NOTE: AHF is #55 in the parade lineup
  • Parade Step off begins at 11:00am (AHF contingent to arrive @ 10:00am)

This year AHF is hailing condoms as a ‘Lifesaver’ in the Pride artwork for our messaging, placards, posters and buses–all the more timely given the unfortunate explosion of STD rates in California nationwide.

The “Lifesaver” artwork for AHF’s 2018 Pride season features a simple rendering of an unfurled condom (horizontal, with no human or body visible) placed on a colorful red background. The condom itself has six multi-colored bands of color echoing the iconic rainbow flag, a symbol used by LGBTQ communities for decades and an ever-present feature at Pride celebrations and parades around the globe. At the same time, the six bands of color on the condom also evoke or suggest a roll of equally iconic Lifesaver candies. Text on the image, placed directly over the side of the condom simply reads, ‘Lifesaver.’

AHF’s choice of ‘Lifesaver art and messaging for its Pride participations in Long Beach and nationwide underscores the urgent need for a return to promotion and use of condoms as an effective tool for HIV and STD prevention.

2017 STD Rates in California (from the recent CA Department of Health Provisional Data Report)

  • Chlamydia, up 9% in 2017 in California from 2016 (218,710 cases, and the highest number since reporting began in 1990);
  • Gonorrhea, up 16% in 2017 to 75,450 California cases, with 33% found among those under age 25; and
  • Syphilis, up 20% to 13,605 cases—the highest number in California since 1987.

AHF has been promoting sexual health and STD screening through its innovative public awareness and billboard campaigns for the past several years in response to the overall skyrocketing rates of STDs nationwide, particularly among young people and men-who-have-sex-with-men. Last week in Los Angeles, it launched its ‘Gonorrhea Alert’ billboard campaign, a nationwide effort to educate about a drug-resistant strain of the STD.

The “Gonorrhea Alert” billboard campaign is a follow up and parallels AHF’s syphilis prevention and treatment billboard campaigns that have included “Syphilis is Serious” billboards which launched earlier this year and the “Syphilis Explosion” outdoor advertising campaign which first starting running in 2014. That campaign was followed by AHF’s “Syphilis Tsunami” campaign which ran in Los Angeles in 2016.

To find locations for free STD/HIV screening, visit www.freestdcheck.org

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