QUEENSLAND thought they had seen the last of the black hooded, scythe-wielding figure synonymous with the 80's AIDS message.

But the Grim Reaper is back and will grace Queensland televisions in a new government-headed campaign to raise awareness about the deadly disease.

Upon launching the campaign, which is a more subtle and emotional piece than its predecessor, Health Minister Lawrence Springborg said HIV diagnosis rates in Queensland had almost doubled in the past 10 years.

"We have been increasing by more than any other Australian state with potentially Western Australia, which seems to be on par," he said.

"That is certainly not one of those mantles that you wear with any great pride."

The campaign comes after the State Government cut funding to the Healthy Communities group, which provided HIV prevention and community awareness for 24 years.

Mr Springborg said it was obvious previous campaigns had not worked

."A definition of stupidity is doing the same thing over and over each year and thinking you are actually getting a different result - well we're not," he said.

"It has been a failed campaign for the last eight or 10 years in Queensland and we are serious about changing that."

The advertisement - which features shots of everyday people, heterosexual and gay couples and starts with "we shouldn't be making this ad" - is aimed at all demographics.

"So it's not about gay, it's not about any particular part of the community. It's about an issue that through human compassion, decency and dignity we have to be aware of as it affects people," Mr Springborg said.

"And it has a life-changing experience for many of them.

"They could be our sister, they could be our brother, they could be our uncles, they could be our aunties or they could be our friends.

"We have to do something about making sure we can make HIV history and end HIV now."

The campaign will cost $500,000 and will be rolled out from September 9.


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