Friday, 30 November 2012

Remembering World Aids Day at the LSHTM

Saturday 1st December is World AIDS Day, observed every year to raise awareness of the AIDS pandemic caused by the spread of the HIV infection.To mark the day the School have put together an exhibition, including material from the Archive service, focusing on LSHTM and HIV/AIDS. It goes on display from Monday 3rd December in the reception area of the Keppel Street building.

Poster from Europe Against AIDS campaign

Around 100,000 are currently living with HIV in the UK and globally an estimated 34 million people have HIV. More than 25 million people between 1981 and 2007 have died from the virus, making it one of the most destructive pandemics in history. Staff from LSHTM are involved in working towards a better future for people living with HIV and preventing new infections with research in a wide range of disciplines.

The exhibition features material from the Archive dating from the 1980s and 1990s, originally collected by the School’s Centre for Sexual and Reproductive Health. It includes a range of promotional items from campaigns and propaganda used by governments during the early days of AIDS awareness. The items, include badges, pins, condoms, lubricants, postcards and hats and were brought together from a wide range of European countries, including Russia, Romania and Switzerland. 

The material uses cheeky and humorous cartoons and whimsical imagery to get across the message of the importance of using condoms in preventing the spreading of the HIV virus. The collection as a whole serves as a fascinating visual record of the different ways the world came to terms with the threat of AIDS.

Material featured in the AIDS exhibition

To continue this theme, within the library entrance area there is a display of AIDS awareness posters from a range of European countries, also collected by the School’s Centre for Sexual and Reproductive Health.

Today, many scientific advances have been made in HIV treatment. There are laws to protect people living with HIV and we understand so much more about the condition. But despite this, it is still important to remember that HIV has not gone away – and that there is still a need to increase awareness, fight prejudice and improve education.

The exhibition ‘AIDS - It's Not Over: London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and HIV/AIDS’ will be in the entrance hall from Monday 3rd December until February. For further information, please see:

The full collection of papers of The Centre for Sexual and Reproductive Health Research are available to view in the LSHTM Archive. Please see the archives website for further information:

You can learn more about HIV in the UK by visiting the HIVaware website.

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