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Condoning condoms

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Drivers can expect to see a new AIDS awareness campaign plastered on billboards, newspapers and posters across the area. The new ads, set to go up in May, will feature a bright pink condom with the words “Stop AIDS” in black letters, accompanied with sayings like, “Your place or mine?” AIDS activists are concerned because infection and HIV rates are on the rise in Michigan after years of stagnancy. Andrew Yee, who heads the Voice of AIDS Project for the Midwest AIDS Prevention Project, says flashy new measures are needed to reach young gay men, who have been contracting HIV at a faster pace in recent years. According to the Ferndale-based Midwest AIDS Prevention Project (MAPP), nine gay/ bisexual men a week in Michigan get infected with HIV; 25 percent of new HIV infections happen to people under the age of 25; and one in nine gay/ bisexual men in Michigan is HIV-infected, for a total of 15,500 statewide and 6,880 in Detroit.

“We wanted to make it as attention-grabbing as possible,” says Yee. “The goal is to increase the use of condoms and safer sex practices, and to increase HIV testing.” See www.aidsprevention.org for more information.

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