HIV testing billboards getting attention in Dallas - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

HIV testing billboards getting attention in Dallas

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Billboards promoting AIDS and HIV awareness in Dallas are getting attention and raising some eyebrows.

The campaign is designed to stem the spread of the AIDS virus and is part of an advertising plan on radio and billboards.

A billboard at Highway 67 and Red Bird Lane depicts two men next to the words: Update Your Status.

"When I saw it I said, ‘Now what are they up to? They trying to promote two men being together?'" said Bishop Eli Jacobs.

Councilwoman Vonceil Jones-Hill wrote that the billboard has several messages: presenting African American men who are homosexuals as acceptable, engaging in such conduct presents health risks, feel free to continue what you are doing but protect your health.

In Dallas County, nearly half of all new HIV infections are among African Americans.

"The message is very clear. The message is: among African American men who have sex with men the rate of HIV new cases is at an epidemic proportion," said Zach Thompson, Dallas County Health and Human Services Director.

Dr. John Carlo, executive director of AIDS Arms – a group that helps people with AIDS find resources, said the goal of the billboards is to raise awareness.

"The billboards speak for themselves in terms of the images they are trying to put forth the bigger picture is how we get people in to get tested," Carlo said.

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