Thanks to Miriam Perez, Rewire contributor/Feministing blogger extraordinaire/National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health (NLIRH) staff women, for this update on the Spanish language condom campaign created by Catholics for Choice and NLIRH.
Univision is refusing to air the ads, first reported on Rewire by Jon O’Brien of Catholics for Choice, on a host of their Spanish language radio stations claiming they have a policy against "controversial issues." It’s hard to imagine that a sincere, evidence-based public health effort to lower HIV/AIDS rates among the Latino population is still thought of as "controversial." It’s the ever present reproductive health reality though. When it comes to addressing, preventing, combating, discussing or dealing in any way with reproductive and sexual health issues, there is always someone willing to turn the issues into a controversy or a question of politics rather than an authentic health discussion.
Please join Catholics for Choice and NLIRH and urge Univision to air these public health ads about condom usage. Below is the text from a press release they are sending out with a letter below that you can send on to Univision.
Urge Univision to Run Condom Radio Ads
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9 December 2008
On December 1st, World AIDS Day, the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health and Catholics for Choice launched the first-ever radio ads for the Condoms4Life campaign. Using the core message that "Good Catholics Use Condoms," the campaign presents a positive message to sexually active Catholics about responsibility and caring for others. The radio ads were targeted in New York City and were picked up by other popular Spanish-language radio stations across the city. However, Univision, the parent company to La Kalle 105.9 FM, La Que Buena 92.7 FM and Radio WADO 1280 AM, refused the ads, claiming its policy against "controversial issues."
Radio is a powerful means of communication for the Latino community. Denying our communities this critical public health message is putting many lives at risk. Univision’s rejection of the ads is particularly infuriating given the fact that Univision has a campaign with the Kaiser Family Foundation which focuses on HIV prevention in the Latino community and they recently received a Cable Positive award for their joint public service announcements.
Please take action today and urge Univision to run these important ads educating Latinos about the importance of condom use.
El 1ro de diciembre, Día Mundial del SIDA, el Instituto Nacional de Latinas para la Salud Reproductiva y Catholics for Choice inició por primera vez los anuncios de radio para la campaña Condoms4Life. Usando el mensaje central de que "Buenos católicos y católicas usan condones", la campaña presenta un mensaje positivo a los católicos sexualmente activos acerca de la responsabilidad y el cuidado de otros. Los anuncios de radio fueron dirigidos a la ciudad de Nueva York y fueron recogidos por otras emisoras populares en español. Sin embargo, Univision, la empresa matriz de La Kalle 105.9 FM, La Que Buena 92.7 FM y Radio WADO 1280 AM, negó los anuncios, alegando su política contra "temas polémicos".
La radio es un poderoso medio de comunicación para la comunidad latina. Negarles a nuestras comunidades este mensaje crítico de salud pública está poniendo muchas vidas en riesgo. El rechazo de Univision de los anuncios es particularmente exasperante porque Univision tiene una campaña con Kaiser Family Foundation que se centra en la prevención del VIH en la comunidad latina y que recientemente recibió el premio Cable Positive por sus anuncios de servicio público.
Por favor toma acción hoy y insiste que Univision toque anuncios radiales para educar a los latinos sobre la importancia del uso del condón.
Haga clic aquí – http://ga4.org/campaign/univision_condomAD
Below is the sample letter:
Subject: I urge you to run the radio ads educating Latinos about condom use
Dear [decision maker name automatically inserted here],
I am writing to express my disappointment that Univision Radio rejected the purchase of ad space for the Condoms4Life campaign. This campaign, jointly created by Catholics for Choice and the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, focuses on health and well-being of the Latino and Catholic community in protecting themselves from sexually-transmitted infections.
Using the core message that "Good Catholics Use Condoms," the campaign presents a positive message to sexually active Catholics about responsibility and caring for others. The ads appeal to people of faith with one of the 60-second spots noting that: "I’m Catholic and there is nothing more important to me than protecting family and love. That’s why I talked to my grandson about condoms. The ads remind people of faith that taking care of yourself and caring for each other means using condoms when you are sexually active.
Univision has done a disservice to the Latino community by refusing to run the radio ads. The fact that Latinos represent almost 20% of new HIV infections in the United States, and Latina women get HIV at a rate that is four times the rate for white women represents the urgent need to support opportunities to educate our community about condom use. The Condoms4Life radios ads represented an innovative and groundbreaking opportunity to break the silence.
We ask that you put politics aside and prioritize the well-being of our families and allow your radio stations to play the ads. If Univision is truly committed to confronting the stigma surrounding HIV/AIDS in the Latino community, it will not deny our communities this critical public health message!