AIDS foundation launches campaign criticizing Viagra marketing

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The non-profit AIDS Healthcare Foundation today launched a consumer print ad campaign criticizing Pfizer’s marketing of Viagra for encouraging the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV. The ad campaign kicks off with ads in today’s Village Voice alternative weekly newspaper in New York. The ads will also appear this week in LA Weekly and The New York Blade, a weekly newspaper for the gay and lesbian community, with further advertising in publications in South Florida and San Francisco to come, the Foundation said. The ads urge Pfizer to halt its Viagra marketing efforts and are designed to alert the public to the dangers of combining Viagra with the illegal drug, crystal methamphetamine. The ads show a picture of a prescription pad with the message “Viagra + Crystal Meth = Rx for HIV infection.” AIDS Healthcare Foundation President Michael Weinstein said “Pfizer’s direct-to-consumer marketing of Viagra as a drug to enhance sexual performance aimed at men who don’t necessarily suffer from erectile dysfunction is irresponsible, especially in light of the drug’s known use as part of a ‘circuit party cocktail’ that is fueling the spread of STDs and HIV.” Pfizer said in a statement that is has always been committed to safe and appropriate use of Viagra and that the product’s label clearly states that it does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases.
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