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Collection: A Public Health Crisis
Condoms came into fashion because they offered protection against HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.
A man who has Kaposi’s sarcoma, an early manifestation of AIDS, describing his swollen lymph glands to health workers in a San Francisco clinic, 1983 Mickey Pfleger, photographer
Signed Copy, How to Have Sex in an Epidemic, 1983
Michael Callen and Richard Berkowitz, gay men infected with the virus, wrote this 1983 sex-positive guide.
America Responds to AIDS
In 1987, the Centers for Disease Control launched a broad campaign to explain modes of transmission, risk, and behavior.
Public health fotonovelas such as this 1989 booklet were adapted from a publication format already popular among Latinos.
Women do get AIDS, 1986
Women with AIDS were predominantly poor and African American or Latina. They were excluded from clinical trials, and the official AIDS definition did not include diseases specific to women until 1993.
Teaching AIDS, 1986
Sex education has always been a contentious topic in families, schools, and religious organizations. This 1986 textbook, published in San Francisco, was one of the first to tackle how to inform K–12 students about AIDS.
AIDS: A Guide to Protective Measures for Hospital Personnel
Health care workers needed specific information about ways to protect themselves from infection.
Healthy Sex is Great Sex
The Gay Men’s Health Crisis distributed explicit material such as this 1982 brochure.
Surgeon General’s report, 1986
Surgeon General C. Everett Koop presented the government’s position on the epidemic in 1986 with straightforward and frank medical information.