It’s GI Jonny and Captain Bareback

An HIV awareness video from the was branded ‘disgusting’ and ‘degrading’ by parent and media groups.

The video – starring GI Jonny and Captain Bareback – is animated with action hero figures and features explicit references to unusual sexual practices along with the need for safe sex.

The row over the contents of the video came on the day that the BBC was reported to be considering axing 2,800 – 12 per cent – of its staff.

It is part of an interactive online campaign aimed at 16- to 24-year-olds created by BBC Learning with the help of sexual health charity Terrence Higgins Trust. The BBC says the viral advert is aimed at the over-18’s, although it carries no warning.

National Confederation of Parent Teachers Associations Margaret Morrissey said: ‘I’m no Mary Whitehouse but this is just disgusting. I think the BBC needs to have a long hard look at itself if it thinks this is the best education it can provide for our teenagers with licence payers’ money.’

National spokesman of campaign group Media Watch UK David Turtle said: ‘This film is degrading to women and encourages casual sex and normalises certain kinds of sexual behaviour.

There is no hint of a loving relationship in this film. It is highly irresponsible of the BBC.’

Defending the film, Terrence Higgins Trust spokeswoman Genevieve Clark said: ‘It’s clear that we need new ways of getting those safer sex messages out to young people – one in nine of whom has chlamydia.

‘We know that light-hearted virals like this can be really effective at getting more serious messages across.’ A BBC spokeswoman said: ‘GI Jonny is an interactive online campaign designed to target young heterosexuals who are at increased risk of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections, yet display high levels of complacency towards the diseases.’

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