World AIDS Day: European Awareness Campaigns

written by Neil on December 3, 2012 in Content with one Comment

If you were busy over the weekend, you might not have noticed that it was World AIDS Day on Saturday. World AIDS Day is held on 1 December each year and is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, show their support for people living with HIV and to commemorate people who have died.

World AIDS Day was the first ever global health day and the first one was held in 1988. Since then countries around the world have acted to halt the spread of HIV with direct approaches through advertising, especially with the use of print and billboard ads – bringing the virus to the forefront of people’s daily lives.

These advertising campaigns are a fascinating look into how governments and non-profit organisations across Europe acted to generate awareness of the virus during a critical stage of the pandemic in the 1990s, which now continues as some 33 million people live with HIV today. Also every day, there are 7,500 new cases of infections. In Europeana we have thousands of public service announcement posters from the 1990s directly related to the prevention of HIV/AIDS and the gallery below is just a small selection from countries such Germany, Slovakia, United Kingdom, Finland, Belgium and France.

 All images are from The Wellcome Library and released under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic.