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AIDS/HIV activism

Sahir House poster

In 1981 the first case study to describe the symptoms of a virus later known as AIDS/HIV was published. By the mid-1980s the number of people infected began to rise quickly each year. The infection was still poorly understood and thought to be constrained to the gay and bi community.

Related campaigns have focused on raising awareness and showing support for those living with AIDS or HIV. In 1987 the government launched the ‘Don’t Die of Ignorance’ campaign. This included television adverts showing frightening images of icebergs and gravestones, supplemented by a public health information booklet distributed to every house in the UK. World AIDS Day was established in 1988, to promote awareness and show support for those living with HIV or AIDS. In 1991 the red ribbon was established as the symbol of the cause.

Today over 100,000 people in the UK are living with HIV or AIDS and despite ongoing campaigns to raise awareness of the infection, over 6,000 new cases are diagnosed in the UK each year.



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