The Illinois Department of Public Health has pulled the plug on a website and ad campaign encouraging people to get tested for HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases after a flood of complaints from the gay community. The controversy surrounds one of the campaign’s prominent creative elements: an image of a man’s face pieced together from the faces of four different men, with the copy “He’s the one” in bold at the top, followed by “that could infect you” below.
Though the ad was supported by many, detractors claim it may discourage HIV-positive people from divulging their status. Others say the ads demonize HIV-positive gay men, portraying them as scary, “Frankenstein” types. Despite only being launched weeks earlier, the Department of Public Health pulled the ads and shut down the ad campaign’s supporting website hesthe1.com.