Secretary approves AIDS TV campaign

PUBLISHED : Friday, 24 June, 1994, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 24 June, 1994, 12:00am

A NEW AIDS awareness campaign which hit television screens for the first time last night has won the backing of the Secretary for Health and Welfare.

The two 30-second public information announcements, which take a lighter approach to arousing awareness of the fatal disease than previous campaigns, have been given approval by Elizabeth Wong Chien Chi-lien.

Mrs Wong was said to be ''happy with the content'' of the announcements after sharply criticising the last campaign which she accused of being alarmist and easily misunderstood.

The new announcements, which cost the Government $670,000, were designed by the same advertising agency but are far less hard-hitting than its first attempt which was based on the ''AIDS - it could happen to you'' slogan.

This time the Department of Health's AIDS Unit has come up with the phrase: ''AIDS. The more you know, the less the risk'' in what has been seen as a less aggressive approach to raising awareness of the disease.

Instead of a young man being told by telephone that an ex-girlfriend has AIDS as he looks at his pregnant wife, which was one of the scenes pictured in the previous campaign, a young fiancee chatting happily in a Hong Kong beauty salon tells staff she has had an AIDS test.

The campaign is primarily aimed at women as the health-watchers in families in the hope that they will discuss AIDS more openly with their partners and children.

The Health Department's AIDS consultant, Dr Lee Shui-shan, said: ''This time we have focused on AIDS as a topic of conversation in people's everyday lives in an effort to bring the subject into more open discussion.'' The new campaign kicked off as the Government announced that six men and two women tested positive for HIV in May.