Dec. 1 is World AIDS Day, and Cable Positive, the industry’s nonprofit AIDS action organization, is hitting TV, print and the Web with a pull-no-punches HIV prevention message aimed squarely at the most vulnerable demo: youths. Tagged “Is Today the Day You Get HIV?”, the campaign is targeting the skyrocketing rates of HIV infection among the young and carefree. The TV and print ads point to a website (IsTodayTheDay.org) and a toll-free hotline. Harder-hitting and more focused than any of its previous campaigns, the organization has also been taking a hard look at its own efforts this year.
Besides streamlining its staff (eliminating one position and creating another, filled in October by Dana Levitt), it has toughened up its mission statement. Cable Positive is no longer funding AIDS education, research and care but is instead focused on communicating HIV/AIDS education, prevention and care. It now aims to mobilize (instead of “unify”) the talents, resources, access and influence of the cable industry to raise HIV/AIDS awareness. And it’s added “strive to end stigma by…” to its earlier mission of creating “a more compassionate climate for people whose lives have been affected by HIV or AIDS.” The sharpened language tweaks its mission for the first time in its 10-year history. As Cable Positive CEO Steve Villano says, “We have to keep pounding away and not give up the fight—and we all have an obligation to use our resources.”

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