1 December is World AIDS Day. The day is an opportunity for people across the world to unite in the fight against HIV, show their support for people living with HIV and to commemorate people who have died. Merseyside has supported World AIDS Day since it began in 1988.
Liverpool’s pioneering public health campaigns
Andrew Dineley, from Liverpool, designed the city’s first pioneering HIV/AIDS public health campaign materials in the 1980s. Working as a graphic artist for Liverpool Health Promotion Unit, his successful and crucial campaigns were later adopted around the country.
"I was a warrior with some marker pens, glue and a photocopier. The media was using the AIDS crisis as an excuse to vilify and erode our recently gained steps toward equality, and people were dying. It was a literal battleground."
Andrew Dineley, speaking in 2017.
Andrew Dineley at an Alter Attitudes to AIDS stall at a National HIV/AIDS Workers conference in Yorkshire, about 1991. Courtesy of Andrew Dineley.
We have a range of items, designed by Andrew, in the Museum of Liverpool’s collections. Here are a few examples. Do you remember them?
Badge, 'AIDS fight the fear with facts', 1988
Flyer, 'Take care of the one you love. Fight the fear with the facts.
Liverpool City Council. Liverpool Health Promotion Unit', 1989
Whilst early national HIV/AIDS campaigns used alarming fear tactics, Andrew, and others, realised that education and prevention, were key. His designs reflected this.
Badge, ‘Alter Attitudes to AIDS’, 1990
The ‘Alter Attitudes to AIDS’ campaign aimed to combat the stigma and stereotypes associated with HIV and AIDS. Raising awareness through innovative public health campaigns like this was crucial.
Postcard, 'Love and Passion Still in Fashion, 2003'
By the 1990s when the ‘Love and Passion Still in Fashion’ campaign was first launched, HIV/AIDS was beginning to be better understood. Deaths from diseases linked to HIV/AIDS continued, though more advanced drugs became available to help control the virus and HIV/AIDS began to be seen more as a virus to be treated and lived with.
Awareness campaigns such as this one began to teach that, following precautions, people could still lead happy and safe sex lives without risk of HIV/AIDS.
Postcard, 'World Aids Day 1st December 1995'
Each year World AIDS Day has a theme, drawing attention to issues surrounding HIV/AIDS such as stigma, discrimination and universal access to HIV/AIDS prevention. 2020’s theme is ‘Ending the HIV/AIDS Epidemic: Resilience and Impact’.
Thank you to Andrew Dineley for very kindly donating these items to the Museum of Liverpool.
You can find out more about Merseyside and the history of HIV in our previous display Now+then developed in partnership with Sahir House and in the short video below.
World Museum is being lit up red to commemorate World AIDS Day on 1 December 2020.