HIV :: Abbott rules out use of Grim Reaper campaign

Australian Health Minister Tony Abbott says a marketing campaign recommended in response to a surge in HIV infections in Australia would not be a repeat of the Grim Reaper campaign of the late 1980s.

The number of HIV infections in Australia increased by 41 per cent between 2000 and 2005, and the Australian government is considering A$10 million safe sex campaign to combat a surge in HIV infections.

“We need the people who are at most risk to get the message”, said Don Baxter from the Australian Federation of Aids Organisations. The gay community should be targeted through mainstream media.

Health Minister Tony Abbott says the campaign would target the general community but be specifically designed to include gay men.

Latest figures on the number of new HIV infections in Australia show a 41 percent increase in the years between 2000 and 2005.

“It’s a very expensive disease and if we can spend A$10 million or thereabouts and help prevent a couple of hundred people a year from coming down with HIV, that would be a very good investment,” Mr Abbott said in an interview to ABC, Australia.

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