An HIV-positive man, talking about the repercussions of growing up as a child without necessary information about human sexuality, is at the center of a pair of new television spots for the Campaign for Our Children.
Tom Troy, a real-life Washington, D.C., resident who contracted the condition that leads to AIDS, candidly addresses the camera in "Health Class." Troy recalls he "didn't plan on sleeping with girls," so school health classes about teen pregnancy did not apply to him.
In "Protect Your Children," Troy discusses how he learned about sex through experience, since the information he got as a child was not personally relevant.
Both commercials end with Troy commenting, "It would have been nice if they'd talked to me."
"It is a fact of life that not all people are the same. These spots emphasize that we must talk with each child with sensitivity," said agency chairman Hal Donofrio.
Troy, 40, a waiter, became the spokesperson by chance. He had accompanied a friend to the audition, where he impressed the agency with his extemporaneous speaking.
The spots broke last Wednesday, World AIDS Day, on 70 cable systems and will run through March. K