Netherlands: AIDS Fund withdraws Aids campaign under HIV patient pressure
HIV patients in the Netherlands are furious about the AIDS fund's "horror campaign" about the disease. "I kill about 300 children a day" and "I am now more dangerous than ever" are two phrases fro the Dutch AIDS Fund's radio commercial campaign.
"I've been fighting for 28 years against the stigmatization of people with HIV. With success. And now the AIDS Fund comes with a criminal campaign that accuses HIV patients of killing 300 children per day", lawyer Oscar Hammerstein, himself a HIV patient, said to NOS. "The virus does not fly through the air, it is spread by patients themselves. So if you say the virus kills 300 children per day, you're really saying: HIV patients kill 300 children per day."
Hamerstein thinks the campaign, titled "The virus is likely to win", was created to ensure the AIDS Fund's existence, because AIDS has almost been wiped out of the Netherlands.
The HIV Association Netherlands calls it a "horror campaign" and demands that the fund removes it immediately.
The AIDS Fund decided to withdraw the campaign, the fund announced on Tuesday. "Although the campaign was extensively tested in advance, many HIV positive people turned out to be offended by the campaign and feel stigmatized. That is not the intention of the campaign", the Fund said in a statement, according to NU.nl.
The campaign was intended to bring the need to combat HIV and AIDS in the world to the attention of the general public in the Netherlands. Of the 37 million people worldwide living with HIV, les than half have access to health care and anti-retroviral drugs", the fund said.