'Avenue Q' Partners with Logo on HIV Awareness PSAs

By: Brandon Voss

It's a fact: People listen to puppets.

Logo TV has forged a unique partnership with Tony-winning musical Avenue Q to launch a national public service announcement campaign designed to create public awareness surrounding HIV.

Featuring puppet characters and occasionally human actors from the hit musical, the first of six PSA spots — to be aired throughout 2013 — will debut Jan. 28 during the fifth season premiere of RuPaul's Drag Race on Logo.  

A decade after it first opened, Avenue Q remains one of the gayest shows in New York. Currently playing at Off-Broadway's New World Stages, the musical features a closeted gay Republican puppet named Rod and his puppet lover Ricky.

The PSAs will cover topics such as the erasing of HIV's stigma, talking frankly about sex with partners, and the importance of getting tested and to adhering to HIV treatment if positive. Viewers will be encouraged to rethink HIV with the help of the campaign slogan "Spread the word, not the virus."

“It is the goal of this partnership to reignite a discussion around HIV, especially in the gay community — a population that is still seeing HIV rates rising in spite of increased awareness and education,” says Amy Wigler, Logo's Senior Vice President of Marketing and Creative, in a statement. “These ‘puppet service announcements' will use the comedic talents of Avenue Q to fearlessly address issues surrounding infection including frequency of testing, anonymous sex, stigma, open communication and more.”

Avenue Q coproducer Robyn Goodman adds, "We are very proud to be partnering with Logo on this important effort. Throughout its run, the Avenue Q puppets have been able to tackle key issues — from Presidential elections to same-sex marriage and now HIV awareness — in their own, singular heart-'felt' way.”

For more info, visit LogoTV.com and AvenueQ.com.