AHF Double Billboard in Miami Promotes Condom Usage to Prevent Zika Transmission

AHF unveils public awareness billboards on I-95 near Wynwood area
with confirmed Zika outbreak

**MEDIA ADVISORY**
Interviews with AHF Southern Bureau Chief
are available

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#AHF–With Florida state and federal health officials reporting this week that
a total of 42 cases of Zika infections have been confirmed in the state
so far, AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) unveiled on Wednesday a new
double-billboard in Miami Dade—near the Wynwood neighborhood where
officials say the virus is spreading—to promote condom usage as a way to
prevent transmission of the Zika virus. On Tuesday, Florida announced
four new cases of Zika in Wynwood despite aggressive spraying for weeks
for the mosquitoes that carry the virus.


Located alongside Route I-95, three-tenths of a mile north of I-395 in
Miami, the double billboard features the image of an unfurled condom on
each side and the words “Prevents Zika Transmission” and “Why Worry?”
superimposed over the images. A cutout of a large mosquito is perched at
the top of the billboards that direct to the website www.preventZika.com.

This most recent Zika virus public awareness billboard campaign paid for
by AHF launches a week after local officials from the Greater Fort
Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau (GFLCVB) moved to remove a
similar billboard near the Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International
airport and in the city of Fort Lauderdale, citing community complaints.

“These billboards reiterate AHF’s commitment to educate the public about
transmission methods of the Zika virus,” said AHF Southern Bureau Chief Michael
Kahane
. “Despite the local challenges we have faced in getting this
important public health message out in Broward County, all of our
residents need to know in no uncertain words that the Zika virus can be
transmitted sexually and that condoms do in fact offer the best
protection against sexual transmission of Zika.”

AHF launched the initial prevention campaign following the Center for
Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) unprecedented travel warning for
a Miami neighborhood after a handful of Zika infections were found in
individuals who had been bitten and infected by local mosquitos.
Following their placement, the billboards received significant praise
from the Florida Department of Public Health which applauded their
important and impactful message.

“We again call on Congress to fully fund efforts to combat the growing
threat of the Zika virus in the United States,” said AHF President Michael
Weinstein
. “Instead of acting quickly to allocate dollars for
prevention and to help affected areas, our elected officials only
delayed and then ultimately cheaped out on providing much-needed funding
before jetting off on their summer recess, leaving local officials
scrambling to control the Zika virus outbreak with limited resources.
How is this best serving the public interest in the face of a confirmed
health crisis?”

In a Sunday New York Times editorial
(Aug. 20th) by Kelly McBride Folkers, a research associate at
NYU Langone Medical Center, Folkers writes, “One of the scariest
things about Zika is that it can be transmitted both by mosquitoes and
by sex — vaginal, oral and anal. In the history of epidemics, it is
unprecedented for a virus to be spread through an insect vector and
sexually. It means that Zika could continue to infect people after the
mosquitoes go away. My generation in particular should be concerned,
because the devastating birth defects Zika causes are a threat to our
ability to have healthy children.”

Furthermore, CDC head Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, the head of the
federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, called Zika “an
unprecedented emergency” in an article recently published in The
Journal of the American Medical Association
.

“Never before, to our knowledge,” Dr. Frieden wrote, “has a
mosquito-borne virus been associated with human birth defects or been
capable of sexual transmission.”

AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS
organization, currently provides medical care and/or services to over
611,000 individuals in 36 countries worldwide in the US, Africa, Latin
America/Caribbean, the Asia/Pacific Region and Eastern Europe. To learn
more about AHF, please visit our website: www.aidshealth.org,
find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/aidshealth
and follow us on Twitter: @aidshealthcare
and Instagram: @aidshealthcare

Contacts

AHF Southern Bureau
Imara Canady, Regional Director,
Communications and Community Engagement
+1.404.870.7789 work
+1.954.952.0258
mobile
imara.canady@aidshealth.org
or
AHF
Ged
Kenslea,
Senior Director, Communications
+1.323.308.1833 work
+1.323.791.5526
mobile
gedk@aidshealth.org
or
Christopher
Johnson,
Associate Director of Communications
+1.323.960.4846
work
+1.310.880.9913 mobile
christopher.johnson@aidshealth.org