APICHA LAUNCHES NEW SUBWAY AD CAMPAIGN TO TARGET YOUNG
Asian and Pacific Islander Coalition on HIV/AIDS (APICHA) launched
a new advertising campaign in the New York City subway system
on Monday, September 6th, 2004. The subway poster campaign targets
Asian and Pacific Islander (API) young Men who have Sex with Men
(MSM), gay men, and men who are questioning their sexuality. The
posters will be displayed throughout the subway system for one
month. The cost of the campaign is $40,000.00.
The ad poster shows two young men, one is Chinese and the other
is South Asian. One man is coming out of the closet and the other
is trying to push him back into the closet. The caption at the
top of the poster says, "As if it's not hard enough to keep
some things in the closet, as young API (Asian Pacific Islander)
men, we gotta protect ourselves too." The caption at the
bottom says, "APICHA's here to support you. Just call us
- it's free! 866-APICHA-9."
APICHA Executive Director Therese Rodriguez said, "We are
very grateful for the financial support we have received from
the federal Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for this media campaign.
It is a very effective way for APICHA to educate our young API
men about their sexuality and most importantly, how to protect
themselves from HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases.
Statistics show that nearly 50% of new HIV infections in the U.S.
are among young people, especially young Men who have Sex with
Men (MSM). That means approximately 20,000 young people will be
infected this year. The best way to turn that number around is
to educate young people to make informed and responsible decisions
about their sexual activity. Whether they choose sexual abstinence
or safer sex with condoms, it must ultimately be their decision
to make. Our goal is to help them to make that choice."
The concept of the ad campaign was conceived by APICHA's staff
and peer educators, the YMSM Community Coalition, and the Young
People's Advisory Committee. The photo and graphic design are
by Joseph Salim.
Alan Lau, is 18 years old, one of the two young men pictured
in the poster, and a member of the group that designed the campaign.
He said, "It took us about 5 months to agree on the wording
for the poster and the photo image we wanted to use. We didn't
want to offend or scare off the young men who are still in the
closet. Also, our choice of the words, "protect ourselves",
not only refers to protection from AIDS, but also about how to
protect ourselves when dealing with issues regarding coming out
of the closet, including anti-gay violence, harassment, and discrimination.
APICHA is a safe haven for young API men who need help with issues
like growing up, coming out, their relationships with family and
friends, and their health and sexuality concerns."
APICHA, a non-profit organization, was founded in 1989 in response
to the AIDS epidemic in New York City. The mission is to provide
HIV/AIDS related services, including HIV primary care and testing,
prevention education, food and nutrition, and other support services
for Asian and Pacific Islander communities, especially people
living with HIV/AIDS. Also, see www.apicha.org for the latest