Agency Network: 
August 2008


This campaign targets homosexual males ages 18-30. It stems from the underlying subculture of bug chasers, or men who actively seek out HIV and want to be infected.

Outdoor advertisement created by LMN Design, United States for RAVE, within the category: Public Interest, NGO.


I get pleasure from taking chances.
We have been changing how HIV is perceived to everyone but ourselves.
Change the mentality.

Advertising Agency: LMN Design, USA
Art Director: Laurie Nickerson
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leaking bucket.'s picture

These are nicely designed but how do you speak to someone who is deranged enough to seek out the HIV virus to purposefully try and become infected.

They don't need to be advertised to, they need professional help!!! There needs to be a 24 hr. help line or some kind of a program set up that is a more direct call-to-action as apposed to just a slogan and logo.

leaking bucket.
Activity Score 136

That's my first thought...

David Hasselblad's picture

leaking bucket, I beg to differ.

People 'puposefully' eat junk food and smoke cigarettes. In large quantities, those things will kill you just as fast as HIV will. Does that make smokers and obese people 'deranged'?

...Maybe. But I don't think they're beyond the help of a good ad campaing. If the campaign featured here is a good campaign is another question.

David Hasselblad
Activity Score 120
leaking bucket.'s picture

David, eating junk food, smoking cigarettes, doing drugs etc. will most likely kill you. There is no argument there BUT these are all "pleasurable" experiences that can eventually lead to that. If people are having unprotected sex and it leads to being infected then that is on a par with what you have listed.

HOWEVER, they are literally seeking out infected people in order to get infected. I don't see any smokers, eaters etc. going straight for the disease. A fine line, maybe.

Anyway, which ever way you look at it, I still think there needs to be a more direct call to action. An awareness campaign will do very little to help them.

leaking bucket.
Activity Score 136

That's my first thought...

darth_darkcape's picture

no .... leaking bucket is correct. an ad ain't gonna make some "bug chaser" changed his mind..... at least not THIS ad.

Activity Score 100
yalaurie's picture

Actually it was really fascinating researching this project. I wrote an in-depth thesis on it and the mentality of HIV that bug chasers have is partly to blame on advertising. When AIDS first hit there was sheer panic and the ads were all about "if you have sex, you will die." But then new drugs hit the market and those drugs ads depicted happy healthy people. So, for my generation (I am 26) I missed the whole "AIDS is scary" ads and only really saw the "Take the meds and you can be sexy and healthy." For me, AIDS was never seen as a death sentence. It is not far fetched to see this subculture emerge. If someone thinks that it is manageable, like diabetes, then why not just get it, and get it over with.

I didn't focus on the act of bug chasing in these ads because I know it is a sensitive topic. I didn't want to alienate this group of people and wanted to avoid having people call them "deranged." To me, the point of these ads was to act as a mirror reflecting what people in the community are thinking about in terms of HIV. If it gets people to talk about it, the ads do their job. It got you guys to stop and discuss it so that works for me.
Thanks for your comments. I appreciate the feedback.

Activity Score 121
Art Director at ATOMdesign |


CGilb09's picture

You did a great job. I see this stuff first hand ALL THE TIME. Good work.

Activity Score 572
Northlich/ University of Cincinnati |

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yalaurie's picture

Thanks. It was one of my favorite projects to work on. I am actually trying to get the campaign picked up by gay and lesbian centers across the US to produce it so it is more widespread. It's been a work in progress for a while. I have another guerilla part of the campaign as well that utilizes "tags" to hit areas where ads aren't effective or accessible. There are examples of that on my website under portfolio>advertising.
Thanks for the feedback.

Activity Score 121
Art Director at ATOMdesign |


Guest's picture

hmmmmmmmm....this seems like it's missing something. How is the market supposed to revolt? Obviously, people seeking out this disease for the reasons in the ads need SERIOUS help and a SERIOUS call to action. What is the call to action? The problem is clearly stated...what's the solution? How does the market change deepseeded mentalities?

These would be good ads for a therapist.

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