Skip To Content
BuzzFeed News Home Reporting To You

Utilizamos cookies, próprios e de terceiros, que o reconhecem e identificam como um usuário único, para garantir a melhor experiência de navegação, personalizar conteúdo e anúncios, e melhorar o desempenho do nosso site e serviços. Esses Cookies nos permitem coletar alguns dados pessoais sobre você, como sua ID exclusiva atribuída ao seu dispositivo, endereço de IP, tipo de dispositivo e navegador, conteúdos visualizados ou outras ações realizadas usando nossos serviços, país e idioma selecionados, entre outros. Para saber mais sobre nossa política de cookies, acesse link.

Caso não concorde com o uso cookies dessa forma, você deverá ajustar as configurações de seu navegador ou deixar de acessar o nosso site e serviços. Ao continuar com a navegação em nosso site, você aceita o uso de cookies.

These Posters Show What AIDS Meant In The 1980s

"AIDS attacks one race and one race only. The human race." #WorldAIDSDay

Posted on December 1, 2015, at 5:34 a.m. ET

In the 1980s, as the young died and doctors scrambled for answers, charities, activists, and governments tried to inform the public about a new killer: AIDS.

Wellcome Library, London

These posters, collected by the Wellcome Trust, reveal the various messages displayed around the world, amid widespread fear, ignorance, and misinformation about the epidemic.

Wellcome Library, London

Advertisement for AIDS information lines by the California Medical Association.

Wellcome Library, London

Poster from the America Responds to AIDS advertising campaign, 1980s.

Some simply tried to tell people that AIDS is deadly.

Wellcome Library, London

An AIDS prevention advertisement by the Central Health Education Bureau in New Delhi.

Wellcome Library, London

A warning that AIDS is a prolonged death by the American Indian Health Care Association. 1989.

Many carried a single message: Use a condom.

Wellcome Library, London /

An advertisement for safe sex by the Department of Health, Housing and Community Services of the Aboriginal Health Workers of Australia, 1990s.

Wellcome Library, London

Advertisement by the State of California AIDS Education Campaign, 1990s.

The "put a rubber on it" message began in 1980s posters and continued throughout the 1990s. Many still bear the message today.

Wellcome Library, London

Advertisement by the Canadian Public Health Association, 1990s.

Wellcome Library, London

German version of a series of "Stop AIDS" campaign posters by the Federal Office of Public Health, 1990s.

"Be good in bed! Use a condom."

Wellcome Library, London

Terrence Higgins Trust poster, 1990s.

Posters attempted to convey the condom message to all races, genders, and sexual orientations.

Wellcome Library, London

1990s.

Not only were condoms becoming increasingly more available, they were the single most effective protection against the HIV virus. Today, Truvada (aka PrEP), the drug that prevents HIV, is also as effective, for the minority who have access to it.

Wellcome Library, London

Poster by Naz Project, 1990s.

As the epidemic grew, charities tried to find new, sexy, and sometimes explicit ways to encourage safer sex.

Wellcome Library, London
Wellcome Library, London

1990s posters by Gay Men Fighting AIDS (now called GMFA).

Wellcome Library, London

An advertisement for the AIDS-Hilfe Duisberg/Kreis Wesel, 1990s.

Wellcome Library, London
Wellcome Library, London

Ad for safe sex by the Australian AIDS Council with a list of regional council telephone numbers, 1994. And a banana design by the New Zealand Aids Foundation, 1990s.

This included promoting the female condom (aka femidom). It wasn't very popular.

Wellcome Library, London

Advertisement for the new female condom by the Black HIV/AIDS Network, 1990s.

Other posters took note of the dangers of sharing needles.

Wellcome Library, London

Advertisement for the AIDS Project by the California Department of Health Services, 1990s.

And some even promoted the benefit of bleaching needles. (It's safer to use fresh ones, however.)

Wellcome Library, London

Instruction leaflet on how to clean syringes issued by the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, 1988.

This poster warned of the dangers of blood transfusions, through which many people contracted HIV until the mid-1980s when screening began for all blood samples in most Western countries.

Wellcome Library, London

Advertisement issued by Ortho Diagnostic Systems, 1998.

But alongside the more obviously practical messages came attempts to remind people that the virus can affect anyone.

Wellcome Library, London

Poster by People of Colour Against Aids, 1990s.

Wellcome Library, London

Advertisement by the Southern Health Board, 1992.

Wellcome Library, London

Advertising by the Jewish Aids Trust, 1990s.

Wellcome Library, London

A warning by the New York State Health Department that AIDS, 1990s.

This poster, aimed at students, highlights many false assumptions about who isn't at risk. "I can't get AIDS. I only sleep with nice women."

Wellcome Library, London

Advertisement about the HIV virus by De Anza College Health Services. 1990s.

Some posters tried to tackle HIV-prevention messages for both sex and drug use.

Wellcome Library, London

By the AIDS Hotline in Hawaii. 1990s.

Others, like this Dutch design, promoted the idea that even when protecting yourself you can still have fun: "Live wild. Be safe."

Wellcome Library, London

Advertisement for safe sex and the AIDS Information Line in the Netherlands by the Stuurgroep AIDSpreventie Homo's and Buro GVO Amsterdam. 1991.

And this campaign aimed to encourage the use – and washing – of sex toys, as a fun, safer way of enjoying sex, without penile penetration. Doctors now know that sharing sex toys can spread hepatitis C.

Wellcome Library, London

Advertisement by the Core Program. 1990s.

If sex toys weren't your thing, another option was suggested: masturbation. Ideally with someone else.

Wellcome Library, London

Poster by the London Lesbian and Gay Switchboard. 1991.

But by the early 1990s, the death rate continued to rise, and so this 1987 image – perhaps the most famous internationally – was still in common use. It wasn't only found on posters, but also on stickers, banners, and T-shirts.

Wellcome Library, London

The Silence = Death Project by ACT-UP, The AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power. 1987.

With the deaths came terror, stigmatisation, and violence against people living with HIV/AIDS. This campaign highlighted gender-based violence: "She told her husband she was HIV+. He took it badly."

Wellcome Library, London

Advertisement for the support provided by the London Lighthouse centre. 1990s.

There were many attempts to target women through poster campaigns, like this one, pinpointing the need for condom use not only to guard against unwanted pregnancy.

Wellcome Library, London

Derivation unknown. 1990s.

Some organisations seemed to encourage women to be abstinent: "A great love is worth the wait."

Wellcome Library, London

Warning about the risk of AIDS by the Alaska Native Health Board. 1992.

Others sought to remind people that you cannot tell by looking at a woman what her HIV status is.

Wellcome Library, London

United States. Dept. of Health and Human Services. 1991.

Some used children to catch the attention of parents – or potential parents. "Who will take care of him? You can't afford to be sick."

Wellcome Library, London

Advertisement for The Aids Health Project. 1990s.

There were posters aimed at sex workers. "Don't have sex without a rubber for anything."

Wellcome Library, London

Advertisement by the State of California AIDS Education Campaign. 1990s.

HIV/AIDS charities were in desperate need of funds, so many used adverts and posters to gain donations. This one from Germany featured a photo of man with lesions, a common symptom for people with AIDS-related skin cancers.

Wellcome Library, London

An appeal for donations to the AIDS fund by Deutsche AIDS-Hilfe. 1990s.

Other organisations like ACT-UP used posters to galvanise activists into calling for better healthcare and drugs for HIV-positive people. It wouldn't be until 1996, after millions had already died, that effective anti-retrovirals arrived.

Wellcome Library, London

Ad by ACT-UP for an AIDS demonstration on Friday 6 October 1989.

Some groups simply advertised their services.

Wellcome Library, London

Advertisement for the AIDS hotline by the AIDS Project Los Angeles. 1993.

Wellcome Library, London

A poster for the residential unit of the London Lighthouse centre for those with AIDS and HIV. 1990s.

A crucial message in many of the posters was to encourage everyone to support, not judge, people with HIV/AIDS

Wellcome Library, London
Wellcome Library, London

Advertisement by the New Zealand AIDS Foundation. 1990s.

Wellcome Library, London

South Africa Dept. of Health. 1996.

Some countries, such as Kenya, incorporated the need to take care of HIV-positive people – and oneself – by emphasising the importance of family.

Wellcome Library, London
Wellcome Library, London

AIDS prevention advertisement by the NGO AIDS Consortium with PATH in Kenya. 1997.

And on World Aids Day — 1 December 2015 — with 35 million dead, and 34 million still living with the virus, this poster, once aimed at individuals, could now be aimed at governments who fail to respond to the crisis.

Wellcome Library, London

Advertisement prepared by Pihas, Schmidt and Westerdahl for Oregon Health Division. 1997.

Want to see more stories like this? Become a BuzzFeed News member.

ADVERTISEMENT