Health office criticised over sexual campaign

The campaign aims to ensure people have 'no regrets' after sexual encounters Keystone

A government-backed campaign against HIV has caused waves of controversy over the explicit sexual imagery used. The Federal Health Office has taken to a major newspaper to fight back against claims the material is too pornographic.

This content was published on May 23, 2014 - 10:15 and agencies

On the opinion pages of Friday’s Neue Zürcher Zeitung newspaper, the health office’s director, Pascal Strupler, directly addressed criticism that he said had been levelled at them in recent days, calling the film pornographic and “immoral”.

“Quite the opposite”, he said. While pornography “degrades people as mere sexual objects”, this short-film shows the “tender  and equal relationship” that exists between a couple.

The centre-right Christian Democratic Party MP, Fabio Regazzi, criticised the use of public money “for glorifying pornography, instead of pursuing the real aim of raising awareness of Aids”. His party colleague, cantonal parliamentarian, Paolo Beltraminelli, said he was “disgusted” by the campaign.

Strupler said that more than 60,000 people have signed the campaign manifesto, declaring that they will act responsibly when it comes to their sex life and use protection against sexually transmitted infections.

Our “ambitious” aim with the campaign he said, was “to reduce the annual number of new infections from 500 to less than 350”.

The Love Life campaign, which started in mid-May, aimed to put out a preventative message about protection against HIV through positive, passionate images rather than fear about infection.

One part of the campaign is a videoExternal link posted on Youtube, set to Edith Piaf’s famous song, Non, je ne regrette rien, or ‘I regret nothing’. It features individuals in erotic poses and a wide range of real-life couples showing off their passion for each other in various settings. It has been viewed 280 000 times.

A shorter version has been aired as a TV-advertisement shown after 8pm.

Strupler added that “only people who are well informed can protect themselves against dangers to their health”.

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