The Saskatchewan government is apologizing for using a photo of two men to promote World AIDS Day.
The government posted the picture Tuesday on social media, which showed the two men standing side by side with their heads touching.
An accompanying message said HIV infections were on the rise in Saskatchewan and encouraged people to get tested.
Social media users condemned the government’s use of a same-sex couple to talk about HIV as perpetuating the myth of AIDS being a “gay disease.”
Saskatchewan struggles with high rates of HIV, with many of infections coming from injection drug use.
The government later removed the photo and apologized.
“Yesterday in marking World AIDS Day, Government of Saskatchewan social media pages used a photo that stigmatized HIV/AIDS and those that live with the disease. The photo has been deleted, and we unreservedly apologize,” it said in a tweet Wednesday.