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CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update
U.S. Agency is Criticized for Dropping AIDS Ads
Hilts, Philip J.
July 1, 1992
New York Times (07/01/92), P. A10

Several government-sponsored advertisements that mentioned using condoms to avoid HIV infection have been abandoned, and controversy has arisen as to whether the move was made for political reasons. The AIDS Action Council, an advocacy group based in Washington, D.C., has chastised the government in several reports and says Centers for Disease Control head Dr. William Roper personally eliminated some advertisements. But Roper said yesterday that although a number of television and radio ads promoting condom use were killed, it was not as a result of moral or political considerations. He said that a popular mythology holds that the government is "afraid of condoms" and is under political pressure from conservatives not to encourage condom use or to be explicit in discussing them in public information campaigns. Roper said such assumptions are untrue, and called the AIDS group efforts "a disinformation campaign that the K.G.B. would have been proud of." Fred Kroger, director of the CDC's National AIDS Information and Education Program, said the reasons were different for each advertisement that was dropped. The ads were part of the CDC's $1.5-million AIDS education effort, "America Responds to AIDS."