HIV PSA Hard to Stomach

The Health Department's new PSAs are intense and graphic, depicting bone loss, dementia and anal cancer related to HIV.

Calling the ads sensationalistic and stigmatizing, at least two gay rights organizations want them removed, but another gay rights group, Gay Men of African Descent, praises the PSA's candor.

It's clear the ads are controversial, but will they be effective? Have similar hardhitting, brutally frank PSAs proven successful in the past?

An anti-smoking campaign showed a woman with no fingers, an orphaned boy in Grand Central Station and a man with a hole in his throat. The anti-obesity spots showed pounds of fat.

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