Depiction Suggestions

The following points for consideration were created as a resource for entertainment development and production. They are not intended to limit the creative process.

  • Recognize that no one is immune to AIDS. All segments of society are at potential risk of contracting HIV.
  • Bear in mind that the use of alcohol and other drugs can lower inhibitions and lead to unsafe sex practices that transmit the AIDS virus and other sexually transmitted diseases. Include discussion of and negotiation with a partner for safer sex and condom use in appropriate scenes.
  • Consider whether casual sex is important to the story.
  • Bear in mind that there may be a latency period of as much as 10 to 15 years between contracting the virus and the diagnosis of AIDS.
  • Indicate the consequences of shared needles in scenes involving injected drug use, tattooing, and ear or body piercing. Consider showing or referring to use of new needles and syringes.
  • Remember that there are new treatments related to HIV and AIDS that are taking away the stigma of testing HIV positive as being a death sentence. Many with HIV have longer post-infection life spans and more productive lives than before the availability of these treatments. However, AIDS treatments are an ongoing, lifelong commitment and not an easy treatment program. Therefore, prevention is the best protection against all infectious diseases, including HIV and AIDS.
  • Recognize the awkwardness and difficulty many people have in bringing up the issues of condoms.
  • Bear in mind that there are still many myths surrounding the transmission of HIV that need to be dispelled.

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